IAAF refers Kenyan of­fi­cial Okeyo to ethics com­mis­sion

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: The IAAF has re­ferred Ath­let­ics Kenya vice-pres­i­dent David Okeyo to the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s ethics com­mis­sion af­ter the Sun­day Times re­vealed he had been ques­tioned by po­lice in Kenya over claims of cor­rup­tion.

Okeyo, a mem­ber of the IAAF rul­ing coun­cil, is al­leged, along with two other of­fi­cials, to have sy­phoned off funds from a spon­sor­ship deal be­tween the na­tional as­so­ci­a­tion and multi­na­tional sports­wear gi­ant Nike. “An in­ves­ti­ga­tion by The Sun­day Times and the Ger­man broad­caster ARD/WDR has un­cov­ered a sworn af­fi­davit in which a whistle­blower claimed that the of­fi­cials sy­phoned close to $700,000 (650,000 eu­ros) out of the fed­er­a­tion’s bank ac­count, most of it in cash. He says he re­ported his con­cerns to the po­lice,” the Sun­day Times said.

The news­pa­per added that a case file on the al­leged cor­rup­tion has been handed to Kenya’s Of­fice of the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions. The al­le­ga­tions came as news to the IAAF, whose newly-elected pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Coe has come in for in­tense crit­i­cism for re­tain­ing his role as an am­bas­sador for Nike.

“The IAAF was not aware of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Mr Okeyo in Kenya and the in­for­ma­tion has im­me­di­ately been passed on to the in­de­pen­dent IAAF Ethics Com­mis­sion,” the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions said in a state­ment.

“As part of the root and branch gov­er­nance re­form project that Se­bas­tian Coe has an­nounced, there will be new pro­cesses in­tro­duced to en­sure all per­sons ap­pointed to IAAF Com­mis­sions and ad­vi­sory groups in the fu­ture have been duly vet­ted and de­clared as ‘fit and proper per­sons’ to hold of­fice.

“Over 200 peo­ple were due to be ap­pointed to new Com­mis­sions and ad­vi­sory groups at the Coun­cil meet­ing at the end of this month but their ap­point­ment will now be de­layed un­til the new pro­ce­dures are in place.”

Okeyo de­nies any wrong­do­ing, but the in­ves­ti­ga­tion heaps fur­ther em­bar­rass­ment on the IAAF, which on Fri­day pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended Rus­sia from all com­pe­ti­tion af­ter a re­port com­mis­sioned by the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) al­leged the coun­try had been in­volved in state­spon­sored dop­ing.

For­mer IAAF pres­i­dent Lamine Di­ack, his son Papa Mas­sata Di­ack, ad­vi­sor Habib Cisse and the for­mer IAAF anti-dop­ing chief Gabriel Dolle are all be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by French po­lice over al­le­ga­tions they were com­plicit in cov­er­ing up Rus­sian dop­ing, al­le­ga­tions they deny. The Sun­day Times re­ported a re­sponse from Nike, in which a spokesman for the firm said it had acted with “in­tegrity” in its deal­ings with AK and that the “ex­pec­ta­tion and un­der­stand­ing” of the AK spon­sor­ship deal was that the funds would be “used to sup­port and ser­vice the teams and ath­letes”.

The spokesman added that Nike was co-op­er­at­ing with the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in their in­ves­ti­ga­tion. — AFP

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