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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Ex-Kenyan athletics official David Okeyo banned for life   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president David Okeyo was banned for life from the sport on Wednesday and ordered to pay 150,000 U.S. dollars in fines by the IAAF Ethics Board.

The same panel acquitted former AK Treasurer Joseph Kinyua of all charges leveled against him, with the ruling case against suspended chief executive officer Isaac Mwangi still pending.

Okeyo has been ordered to pay the IAAF a cost award of 100,000 U.S. dollars and the AK 50,000 U.S. dollars within 90 days.

Along with the late AK president Isaiah Kiplagat, who died in 2016, Okeyo and Kinyua were charged with diversion of federation funds from sponsors Nike, and subverting the anti-doping process.

“Okeyo should be expelled from his office as a member of the IAAF Council and banned for life from taking or holding any office in the sport or taking part in any Athletics-related activity. The Panel imposes this ban with effect from the date of this decision,” said the board.

“The Panel notes that Okeyo has been found to have committed breaches of the Code on ten occasions over a long period of time,” it added.

“Moreover, the effect of his conduct was to deprive Athletics Kenya of income from its sponsor that could have been better directed to support the development of the sport of athletics in Kenya.

“In the view of the Panel, the pattern of conduct warrants serious sanction to establish the firm principle that federation officials must act scrupulously and transparently in managing the finances of their federations in order to protect the name and reputation of the sport of athletics.”

The panel absolved Kinyua of the first charge, since his previous office at AK does not fall under the IAAF’s ethical guidelines.

“Although Kinyua has been found to have engaged in similar conduct, because he was not bound by the 2003 Code of Ethics he cannot be found to have been in breach of that Code,” the judgment read.

The board said both parties have the right to appeal against this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of the date of this decision.

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UPDATE:

Banned Kenyan athletics official lashes out at “selective justice”

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Banned IAAF council member and former Athletics Kenya (AK) vice-president David Okeyo has labelled the decision to expel him from the sport for life as a “conspiracy against Africans.”

The IAAF Ethics Board convicted Okeyo of siphoning off money from the federation as well as receiving bribes to vote for Qatar as the host of the 2019 IAAF World Championships. Okayo is going to challenge the judgement at the the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Okeyo, who served as AK vice-president until November 2016 when he was initially suspended, was also slapped with a hefty 150,000-U.S.-dollar fine in a judgement made public on Thursday.

The veteran administrator further claimed that British national, Sebastian Coe, is also not eligible to run the IAAF having been accused of receiving bribes for the 2019 Qatar bid.

“It was all fabrications geared toward removing me from AK and there is nothing very special. In any case, do you think I was in a position to withdraw money without authority? The money they are saying I withdrew was under the authority of the late chairman and the custodian of the accounts that was [Joseph] Kinyua. How come I’m found to be bad and Kinyua is okay, did I steal the checkbooks to go withdraw the money myself?” Okeyo said.

His co-accused in the corruption charges and former federation treasurer, Joseph Kinyua was acquitted while the case against the late AK president, Isaiah Kiplagat, was terminated following his passing in August 2016.

Okeyo then claimed the fight against corruption at the top echelons of the IAAF had taken a discriminatory approach against Africans, accusing Coe who ascended to the helm of the organization on the platform of reform, of being unfit for office.

“If anything, Coe should not even be the president of IAAF going by what happened in Qatar since he was chairman of that committee where they are alleging members were bribed including him,” Okeyo charged.

He also complained about the length of time it has taken to determine the case brought before him by the Ethics Board.

Okeyo cited the case of former IAAF Secretary General, Nick Davies, who was expelled from the world body in January last year but was allowed to seek employment elsewhere within the sport after being found guilty of accepting 30,000 euros in bribes to delay naming Russian drug cheats.

Okeyo who served as the IAAF Cross Country Commission chairman until 2015 questioned the huge fine slapped on him in the 74-page judgement.

“The judgement is not clear; there are a lot of gaps. If you have banned me for life, why are you fining me another 150,000 dollars?”

The case against suspended AK CEO, Isaac Mwangi, who is separately charged with soliciting bribes from athletes who have tested positive for banned substances with a view of either clearing or reducing their bans, is still being heard by the Ethics Board.

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