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Despite Fina ban, NOC-K still sends team to Tokyo Olympics

By Amos Abuga
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
Coast-based swimmer Emily Muteti during a past event at the Kasarani Aquatic Centre. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO
In summary

Kenyan swimmers will participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite the International Swimming Federation (Fina) suspending the Kenya Swimming Federation (KSF) for failure to put their house in order - key among the conditions is failure to hold elections.

KSF last held elections in September 2014 but despite constant notices by Fina, they have failed to conduct polls, inviting the harsh decision by the world swimming governing body.

Fina had granted KSF a deadline to conduct elections no later than June 30, 2019, a second deadline no later than October 30, 2019 and a further extension until November 30. 

With the deadlines lapsing, the international body suspended KSF, with the swimmers expected to be the most affected, starting with the Olympics.

However, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) acting secretary Francis Mutuku has weighed in, saying the earmarked two simmers will still represent Kenya during the July 24 to August 9 quadrennial Games.

“As NOC-K, we are very concerned with what is happening at KSF. It is not good for the swimmers at all.

We are still hopeful they will comply and hold their elections. But failure to do that, we shall still go ahead and enter the swimmers for the Games,” Mutuku disclosed.

Unlike in other events such as the world championships where individual federations enter their own athletes, NOC-K hold the supreme power when it comes to Olympics and therefore have the final say who is entered into the team.

“We shall not allow athletes to suffer just because there are wrangles. NOC-K will put the interests of athletes first,” added Mutuku.

Fina suspend the Kenyan Swimming Federation late last year and its members, including the clubs, according to Fina Rule C 12.2.”

“This suspension aims to protect the Fina Aquatics Family in Kenya. The suspension will remain until, among others the Constitution of the Kenyan Swimming Federation is in accordance with Fina Rules and approved by the Fina Bureau, the new elections conducted according to Fina Rules and under the supervision of Fina and the new board of directors of the Kenyan Swimming Federation is approved and recognised by Fina,” the body said. 

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