By Kimathi Kamau NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Kenya’s Export Promotion
Council (EPC) has been condemned by Athletics Kenya
following claims that junior athletes were mistreated at
the Astana Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan.
local media reports, federation President, Lt. Gen (Rtd)
Jackson Tuwei alleged eight runners who won medals at
the Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Under 18 Championships were
left stranded in Astana after being abandoned at the
body charged with development and promotion of export
trade invited the concerned athletes through AK via
Kenya’s Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts to attend
the cultural exchange in Kazakhstan.
“This is why
we insisted on a letter of commitment from the Ministry
of Sports before releasing the young athletes. What a
let-down. I hope they come back safely. Let’s pray for
them,” Tuwei told Citizen television on Wednesday.
One of the
affected athletes, Japheth Kibiwott Toroitich who won
bronze in the boys’ 800m at the last edition of the
World Under 18, was left stranded at the Astana
International Airport before being detained by Kazakh
accused of not securing his visa to the central Asian
country and it is claimed he spent two days out in the
cold without food and water.
“It was not
what I expected, when we were travelling I thought all
papers were sorted but things took a wrong turn so fast.
On top of the visa mishaps, the officers thought that I
had plans to remain there after the Expo since my
passport shows that I’m a student,” Toroitich said.
silver medalists Lydia Cheruto (800m) and Mercy
Chepkirui (2,000m steeplechase) were left stranded in
Nairobi after issues with their travel papers.