AK appeals to Govt. to reverse Commonwealth Youth Games ban
Athletics Kenya (AK) has appealed for Government intervention after the National Olympic Committee-Kenya barred the country from participating in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
AK President Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei revealed that Nock had formally written to communicate the ban on the Under 18 track and field team from taking part in the July 19-23 event citing undisclosed reasons.
Six countries have thus far withdrawn from the July 12-16 Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Under-18 Championships with former colonial masters Britain, New Zealand and Australia opting to send their teams to the Bahamas Commonwealth Youth.
However, the AK chief termed Nock’s move to bar Kenya from Bahamas as retrogressive to the sport and warned that such action would kill young local talent due to lack of international exposure.
“Nock has no right to unilaterally deny the young talent from gaining international experience, yet Kenya was depending on them for future athletics competitions,” the AK boss who was speaking on Wednesday at the official launch of the Team Kenya for Kampala 2017 World Cross camp in Kigari, Embu, charged.
Tuwei urged the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts to ensure that the federation will select and enter a Kenyan team for the Commonwealth Youth Games directly without the intervention of Nock.
Commenting on the matter, the Director of Administration at the Ministry, Harun Komen pledged to engage senior government officials and do whatever was possible to ensure that the Under 18 team participated in Bahamas.
The director blasted Nock for “making decisions as if it was a country by itself,” and violating the wishes of Kenyans.
Komen said the Government would petition the International Olympics Committee to sanction top Nock officials who engineered the failure of their new Constitution to achieve the required two-thirds threshold at a stormy Extra Ordinary Meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Komen said it was particularly embarrassing for Nock officials to be charged with diverting kit meant for Team Kenya athletes to their homes leaving them to suffer at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games.
He suggested that AK should be given to mandate kit and allowances for the country’s track and field to avoid such cases of theft.
On doping, Tuwei stressed Kenya was ready to cooperate with world governing body the IAAF to get out of its watch list and urged athletes to submit themselves for tests whenever called upon to do so whether in or out of competition.
Komen on the other hand urged Kenya’s world beating athletes to preserve the country’s dignity in the track and field by making sure they won in a clean and fair manner, without plunging into doping.
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