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Olympics: Kenya to investigate missing Rio kits

Kenya team

Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | 

The Kenyan government announced on Thursday it had opened an investigation over the alleged disappearance of Olympic kits worn by athletes at the Rio Games.

Each Kenyan athlete was supposed to receive three different kits from the country’s equipment supplier, with one for training, another for competition as well as a leisure outfit.

However some athletes claimed to have received only part of their kits, while others said they had received nothing at all.

On Sunday, Nike complained to the Kenyan government about the misuse of the sportswear giant’s equipment, a repeat of a problem that surfaced at London 2012.

“We are aware of the concerns that Kenyans have raised on the matter of Olympic kits, accreditation and overall mismanagement of our Olympic team,” said government spokesperson Eric Kiraithe.

The inquiry will also look into the management of accreditations and usage of expenses, with Kenyan athletics hit by further troubles after team manager Michael Rotich was sent home from the Olympic village in a doping bribe scandal.

In light of the recent turmoil, some politicians have called for the resignation of sports minister Hassan Wario.

“The continued mismanagement of sports at the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts has brought shame and dishonor to the nation as demonstrated in the current fiasco at the country’s Olympic camp in Rio,” said one official.

Over the past three years some 40 Kenyan athletes have failed doping tests, shredding their reputation for probity and laying bare the reality behind their reputation as the most dominant middle to long distance running nation in the world.

The government only this month passed anti-doping legislation so that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) could take Kenya off its non-compliant list.

 

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