Kenyan athletes want new track and field body

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Nairobi, Feb 17 (IANS) Top athletes in Kenya called on the country’s sports cabinet secretary Hassan Wario to form an interim office to run the affairs of track and field.

This came in the wake of rising dope cases in the country, which they say, current president of Athletics Kenya Isaiah Kiplagat has failed to address, reports Xinhua.

“We want the minister to act fast. We came here to discuss the way forward in terms of how to deal with the wrangles. More Kenyan athletes are being nabbed cheating and it is a trend that is raising eyebrows. Somebody has to act fast,” the athletes said Monday.

Wario, who called the group of retired and active athletes to the meeting, was however, non-committal on the subject despite him having asked Kiplagat to resign a few days ago.

The group was led by two-time Boston marathon champion Moses Tanui and former world 800 metre champion Billy Konchella and New York Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang.

Kipsang, who is leading the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya (PAAK), said many active athletes are suffering in silence because AK stopped working in their interest.

“All athletes require AK to clear them to travel to competitions abroad. But they use it against us and frustrate us. That is why I and my group wanted to petition the minister to act fast and am happy the retired athletes too are supporting us,” he said.

Others athletes who were present included Commonwealth, Olympic and world champions Wilfred Bungei (800m), John Ngugi (5,000m), William Tanui (800m), Douglas Wakihuuru (marathon), Shem Kororia, Steven Ole Marai, Edwin Koech, Daniel Komen, Tecla Sang and Justin Chepchirchir.

“In our opinion, the whole AK executive needs to be replaced and as we are ready to replace them because we believe we are capable of doing a better job than them. It is a pity that not even a single retired athlete is in the executive of AK,” Konchellah said.

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