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Kenya’s Olympic body to hold election in May, avert IOC ban

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Nairobi:  Kenya’s Olympic body will go to the polls on May 5 to elect its new executive officials, having agreed to adopt a new constitution.

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) risked a ban from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for failing to adopt the new law, but the incumbent officials, under pressure from the Kenyan government and IOC, have agreed to the new document, which will pave the way for fair and just elections in just six weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday, NOCK President Kipchoge Keino urged the delegates and officials seeking several seats to elect leaders who have a good vision to develop the sport and those who can propel the country forward at international championships.

“We all want the best for the youth of this country. It is they that play sport and we as administrators only help set the stage. It should be their call, their priority,” he said.

Now Nock will deliberate on securing the services of an outside body to oversee the election. The Independent body will be named after seven days from the date of the passage of the new constitution.

“The team, which will oversee the elections, must be transparent. We want to elect people who will improve sports in this country, help Kenya go forward,” said Keino.

Earlier this month, IOC sent its officials in Nairobi as observers during a stormy Extraordinary Meeting by NOCK, having asked Kenya to amend its laws but the officials voted down the proposal.

This comes after it was reported that Kenyan athletes were mistreated during the Olympic Games in Rio last year.

“Our athletes were not mistreated in Rio. If the team was mistreated they would not have come home with six gold, six silver and a bronze. Kenya team was taken care of and performed well finishing in position 15,” said Keino.

But in a change of heart on Tuesday, 18 delegates plus 11 national executive members of NOCK unanimously voted in favour of the new constitution on their third attempt to pave the way for the elections.

The new constitution takes the voting rights from the 11 executive members who have expressed interest to defend their seats.

IANS

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