Rio fiasco probe team turns to athletes after first hearing

Part of the Rio 2016 Olympics Nike kit. PHOTO/Charity Wanja
Part of the Rio 2016 Olympics Nike kit. PHOTO/Charity Wanja

The Rio Olympics Probe Committee will next travel to Eldoret – which is the hometown to most athletes that fell victims of the 2016 Rio fiasco – after holding its first hearing at the Ministry of Sports Arts and Culture offices in Nairobi on Thursday.

Citizen Television top sports journalist, Waihiga Mwaura, was among the first people to be summoned by the committee chaired by Dr Paul Ochieng’, who is also a and a National Archery Official.

The former CNN/MultiChoice Africa Sports Journalists Sports Award winner played a crucial role in exposing scandals that surrounded Team Kenya during the Rio Olympics Games.

“We preferred to start off our sessions by interviewing journalists in the hope that they will shed more light on the Rio Olympics fiasco before approaching the athletes who were involved. We want to get a clear picture of what happened and letting them tell their side of the story is the first step.

“We will be travelling out of town to for a week to meet these athletes and then return to Nairobi. It will not be in their interest to ask them to travel all the way to Nairobi because they will need two days,” Ochieng’ stated.

The Strathmore University Dean of Students added that by visiting Eldoret, the committee will get the opportunity to visit the venues for athletics trails and the venue for camp Nandi Bears.

“Some athletes said these places were conducive others while others complained that they were not. The probe team has to find out if we shall take Team Kenya 2020 at the same places or not,” he added.

The committee, which was appointed by Sports Cabinet Secretary (CS) Dr Hassan Wario on August, 29 is expected to file a report and hand it to Wario him by September, 30 with detailed accounts of the selection and accreditation processes of Team Kenya part of the talking points. They are also expected to find out why athletes did not get their intended kits.

“The findings shall be handed to the minister who is the appointing authority in mid-October, from there he will see how to disseminate it and see if he will either give a report to the senate or to the parliament or take it further to state house,” the Chair clarified.

The committee was clear that they are not only probing into the Rio Fiasco but are, rather, trying to find solutions to ensure that there is no repeat fiasco during the 2017 London Championships or 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

-Report by Cornelius Kiptum and Charity Wanja

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