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Kenya lifts ban on its Olympic body, says top official

29 September 2016, 14:12

Nairobi (Reuters) - The Kenyan government has lifted the ban it imposed on the National Olympic Committee (NOCK) after the Rio Games as the nation attempts to rebuild faith in the organisation, a top civil servant said on Wednesday.

Richard Ekai, the principal secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts, said NOCK was being permitted to resume operations to enable it to meet conditions and deadlines set at last week's meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne.

NOCK was disbanded on Aug. 25 following public pressure and a directive from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The east African nation bagged its biggest ever haul of medals in Brazil - six gold, six silver and one bronze - but doping allegations and organisational problems plagued preparations for the event.

"We are happy about what happened after Rio because the NOCK needed to be reformed," said Mr Ekai.

"Reforms must take place in NOCK and elections of new officials conducted before the end of the year. It is (for) NOCK to take the lead and conduct all these -- hence the decision to lift the ban and enable them to function," Ekai, the top civil servant in the ministry, told reporters.

"We had a fruitful meeting in Lausanne and we struck a balance between our (national) sovereignty and IOC Charter," he added. "NOCK must follow the process within the set timelines."

He was speaking on the day that three top officials of the NOCK -- secretary general F.K. Paul, vice-chairman Pius Ochieng and assistant treasurer Stephen Arap Soi, who was head of mission in Rio -- appeared in court, charged with failure to declare uniforms donated by sports goods manufacturer Nike, fraud and theft of public funds.

- Reuters


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