An investigation has revealed that Kenyan officials squandered money meant for the Kenyan Olympic team. The investigation was commissioned by Hassan Wario, minister for sports, culture and the arts.
Paul Ochieng, the dean of students at the Strathmore University in Nairobi, led the investigation which was commissioned by Hassan Wario, minister for sports, culture and the arts. It showed that the funds embezzled by the Kenyan officials was meant to be used in payment for air tickets for the Olympic team.
According to the investigation, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) also diverted money and kit from Nike worth millions of shillings.
The report said:
“Some (sports) ministry officials misappropriated 88,611,480 shillings ($871,190) meant for air tickets. NOCK has been misappropriating Nike contract funds and kit amounting to 126 million shillings per year meant for athletes since 2013,”
“The eight-year (2013-2020) contract between Nike and NOCK on behalf of all national teams is heavily skewed towards Nike and needs review or cancellation.”
The Olympic athletes also complained about having not received their bonuses from Nike for medals which were won at both the Rio Olympics and the Commonwealth Games.
According to the athletes, Nike gives the committee (NOCK) $15,000 for each gold medalist, $7,500 for each silver medalist and $5,000 for each bronze medalist. However, the athletes stated that they have never received any bonuses from NOCK.
On the contrary, the chairman of NOCK said that such agreements were handled personally with Nike and had nothing to do with the committee. He added that the ministry was concerned with handling all ticketing and other financial matters.
“It’s all lies. Athletes sign for endorsement and bonuses with Nike. All we get are kit and training funding. We don’t handle athletes’ money,” he told Reuters from Doha, Qatar, where he is attending a meeting of the Association of National Olympic Committees.
“It is not our duty and we did not receive any money, nothing absolutely. We have never handled such things, and it’s not in our agreement.”
The officials who embezzled the funds are yet to be uncovered, but probe has now been forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta.