President Kenyatta orders immediate payment of athletes’ allowances


President Kenyatta orders immediate payment of athletes' allowances

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Sports Ministry to pay athletes the Ksh 60 million outstanding allowances dating back to 2013.

The President was speaking when he hosted the victorious Beijing World and Cali Junior championships teams for breakfast at State House, Nairobi.

The two teams represented Kenya at the recent 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, and IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia.

“I want the athletes and their officials to come here on Thursday next week and inform me whether their allowances have been paid,” said the President.

As a sign of appreciation to the triumphant athletes, President Kenyatta announced the Government’s cash prizes of Ksh 1 million for gold medalists, Ksh 500,000 for silver and Ksh 250,000 for bronze.

In addition, the President said the two teams will also take home Ksh 5 million each.

“All members of the teams played a role in bringing glory to the country and should be appreciated. For the medalists, your win is the win for the team, the country and all Kenyans,” said the Head of State.

The Beijing team beat the world’s sporting giants Jamaica, the U.S., defending champions Russia and China to top the medal table with seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing last August.

Among the gold medal winners was Javelin sensation Julius Yego, who made history by winning the country its first major field event at the World Championships with a world record throw of 92.72m.

Also present was Olympic and world 3000m Steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi, popularly known as “Baba Yao” in sports. He has won the steeplechase in the World Championships four times since 2009.

Kemboi, who is the team captain, said he is preparing for the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil next year.

“Only then, can I consider retirement,’’ he said at the breakfast meeting.

Other champions were Nicholas Bett, who gave Kenya its maiden 400m hurdles world title, David Rudisha who won the 800m race and Hyvin Jepkemoi who won 3,000m steeplechase women.

President Kenyatta expressed his disappointment at the continued cases being reported recently of doping by Kenyan athletes.

President Kenyatta said the doping cases are harming the country’s reputation and called for concerted efforts to eradicate the vice bedeviling athletics.

Kenyatta called for urgent measures to contain use of performance enhancing drugs to save our athletics.

On Friday, Kenya’s athletics body has suspended two runners for failing dope tests, five weeks after two others were kicked out of the World Championships in Beijing for similar offences.

Athletics Kenya said on Friday it had suspended road runner Josephine Jepkoech Jepkorir and 800m athlete Agatha Jeruto Kimaswai for two and four years respectively for testing positive for the banned anabolic agent norandrosterone.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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