Hope for the sport as top managers under investigation over corruption

What you need to know:

  • We did two stories and immediately the subjects of the articles rushed to court and obtained an injunction barring the Nation from exposing the rot.
  • The three men — Isaiah Kiplagat, David Okeyo and Joseph Kinyua — need no introduction.

If you studied our perplexing nation, you would come to the realisation that advancement in age does not necessarily lead to wisdom; age only makes one old and annoying.

The American writer Mark Twain must have captured it much better with his harsh wit: “At that time I was young and foolish; but now, I am old and foolisher.” The only remaining ingredient is folly.

COURT INJUNCTIONS

In this newspaper some months ago, we laboured to tell how some octogenarian managers were hurting Kenya’s athletics as well as highlight the greed with which money meant for the sport was being siphoned out as soon as it landed in the accounts.

We did only two stories before the subjects of the articles rushed to court and obtained an injunction barring the Nation from exposing the rot. We had to sit back and leave the articles to the criticism of mice.

ATHLETES STORMED RIADHA HOUSE

A few days ago, some athletes stormed Riadha House, the Athletics Kenya headquarters, in a bid to tell off the Methuselahs.

They achieved little, but at least they ruffled the feathers of the IAAF Ethics Commission, which moved fast.

There is a triumvirate that has secluded itself in a posh corner and, after continued fusion of their questionable brains, came to the conclusion that they are the Alpha and Omega of the country’s athletics.

They cannot imagine anybody else ever taking over the reins; they never plan to retire and leave the runners alone; they have made a tryst with destiny and are sure they shall never die.

They have the elixir of youth and, even as they grow frail, they believe that they, just like a river, shall rejuvenate — and continue to flow their sewage into the veins of our young athletes.

They cannot imagine that their forks can ever take to their abhorrent mouths any other viand that is not the hamstring muscle of an athlete; they cannot fathom life without their spooky straws drawing steaming hot blood from the jugular of a promising Kenyan athlete.

But then, they shall certainly wither out of the system and we shall forget them as fast as possible; we will only remember their reign of terror with a sigh of relief. They have so lived large on the backs of our sports people that it is a miracle we still are world beaters!

SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH NIKE

The three men — Isaiah Kiplagat, David Okeyo and Joseph Kinyua — need no introduction.

They have been at the dirty helm long before Jehovah Wanyonyi became ‘God’ and even after that perplexing ‘deity’ left the scene.

And they still wish to crow unmusically from the hill of authority?

Now, they have been provisionally suspended by the IAAF, accused of subverting anti-doping processes and potentially diverting sponsorship funds from Nike.

Last week, seven Kenyan athletes were banned for doping, taking the national tally in three years to 40.

DOHA 'GIFTS'

The allegations surrounding the three officials under investigation relate to funds raised through a sponsorship deal with Nike as well as ‘gifts’ of two motor vehicles from the Qatar Association of Athletics Federation in 2014-2015 to Kiplagat.

Well, they could just be gifts, if not given at a time when Doha was bidding to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships.

The three unwise men have been suspended for 180 days to pave the way for an investigation led by Sharad Rao.

Since last month, when Dick Pound released his damning report on systemic doping in Russia, attention has shifted to longstanding issues in Kenya.

The trio’s apparent godfather — Lamine Diack — is already before a Paris court over similar suspicions on his conduct.

Even IAAF boss Sebastian Coe, the British athletics legend, was forced to resign as a special advisor for Nike last week because of ‘conflict of interest’.

A recent BBC expose claimed that Sir Sebastian allegedly helped USA in their bid to host the 2021        World Championships in Eugene (home of Nike).

There is fire at IAAF and all chaff must be blown away from athletics management. If the rotten eggs don’t want to leave, let us pray that they are found guilty and subjected to a diet of beans in some locked and guarded place.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.