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January 20, 2019

Athletics Kenya begins crackdown of officials accused of molesting female athletes

Sacy Ndiwa (247) and Sanda Chebet (169) lead the pack in a 10KM race during Athletics Kenya National championships in February. /OLIVER MORGAN
Sacy Ndiwa (247) and Sanda Chebet (169) lead the pack in a 10KM race during Athletics Kenya National championships in February. /OLIVER MORGAN

Athletics Kenya has mounted a crackdown on rogue coaches and officials who have been sexually molesting young runners in camps across Nakuru and Uasin Gishu counties.

AK President Jackson Tuwei said the initiative seeks to bring the culprits to book and at the same time send a clear warning to would-be offenders.

Those found guilty, he said, will face the full force of the law in addition to losing their status as athletes’ handlers at whatever level.

“We want to assure the government that Athletics Kenya will crackdown on coaches implicated in such acts and subsequently bring them to book,” said Tuwei.

During a send-off dinner for Team Kenya to the African Cross country Championships in Algeria, Tuwei said they dealt with a similar situation in October last year and even took necessary action and measures.

“As it is now, some coaches are under probe and if found guilty of misconduct, we will not only ban them but also revoke their licenses,” he asserted.

He said they have told coaches and other officials in no uncertain terms that their responsibility is to protect the junior runners.

He revealed that AK had made radical changes on the management of camps including banning those run by individuals.

These includes having junior runners train under the armpit of their respective schools with chaperones attached to them.

“Gone are the days when we used to have youth athletes and especially girls being put in private set ups,” he said.

Tuwei said they have been monitoring the progress of the athletes in these camps through teachers and will not hesitate to take action against individuals whose agenda is different from that of talent development.

“We have also intensified the visits to training centres to ensure our athletes are getting the best treatment and at the same time attending their classes,” said Tuwei.

Tuwei said AK will comply with the recent directive issued by the Sports Cabinet Secretary Mohammed Echesa that the federation conducts investigations over the sexual abuse cases allegations in camps as revealed by an expose on Citizen television.

Echesa ordered AK Youth Committee chairman, Barnaba Korir, to probe the allegations and give the ministry a feedback for possible action.

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