Wario heads to IOC again for mediation talks

For the second time in less than a year, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Dr Hassan Wario will be traveling to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne-Switzerland, to seek audience with the committee’s top brass ahead of the executive board’s meeting on July 9 and 10.

The IOC will have the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) as part of its agenda following their stern letter on June 21 this year that admonished the executive committee for failing to hold its elections. The polls were halted after the Taekwondo Federation sought a court injunction.

The decision for Wario to travel to Lausanne ahead of the Executive meeting was made Thursday, following a consultative meeting between Nock president Kipchoge Keino and 23 affiliate federations who sought to remedy the situation.

The IOC letter, which berated Nock for failing to adhere to the road-map for reforms set out in December 2016 as well as its incessant wrangles, seems to have jolted Nock into action fearing looming sanctions.

“The IOC letter was part of the meeting. Last year we went to Lausanne, and we agreed on a specific road map. That includes adoption of a new constitution and holding of fresh executive elections. The constitution part was done but unfortunately the elections have not yet after one of the federations went to court,” Wario told Citizen Digital.

IOC froze Nock’s funding earlier this year and upheld the decision in the letter sent on June 21. Wario is heading to Switzerland to appease the global body.

“We will travel to Lausanne to brief them on what we have decided as a country, to show them our commitment as a country and federations,” Wario said.

Thursday’s 2-hour long consultative meeting concluded with Dr. Kipchoge revealing the executive committee would convene on Friday to announce a new election date.

“The meeting was successful. We had the quorum and have agreed on a way forward.  One is that there will be a meeting tomorrow called by Nock, and in that meeting Dr. Kipchoge has agreed to set an election date, which we really wanted.

“They need to understand we are holding the elections because we need a sober revamped Nock,” Wario revealed.

After the meeting, the sports Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Kirimi Kabereia, later in the afternoon met with the Kenya Badminton Association, Kenya Swimming Federation, Kenya Taekwondo Association and Kenya Cycling Federation who had not complied with the 2015 Sports Act.

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