Charge on Olago not proven, Panel recommends a letter of reprimand

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Aug 04, 2017
  • Curtis Olago, the KCB coach who was slapped with a 30-week ban by a KRU jury may get a reprieve after a fresh hearing recommended a letter or reprimand instead. (SNA. File Photo)

An independent judicial panel established that the charges against Curtis Olago, the Kenya Commercial Bank coach could not be proven.

As a result, they have nullified the recommendations by a previous panel of three that slapped him with a 30-week ban and instead urged the Kenya Rugby Union to write a letter of reprimand to Olago.

Edwin Obuya, the sole judicial officer at the hearing on July 25, 2017 in the presence of all the representatives and aggrieved parties examined the genesis of the dispute and took into consideration regulations by World Rugby and KRU.

The recommendation: The Panel having found that the charge was not proven did not impose any sanctions but recommended a letter of reprimand from the KRU.

Although there was a concern by one of the aggrieved parties who sought clarification whether this was a new hearing taking in to consideration that a judicial panel of three had deliberated the same issue in May.

It was clarified this was a fresh hearing.

The guiding factor for the panel was achieving a just and fair ruling while working within the umbrella of the World Rugby and KRU regulations. As a result, the panel classified the hearing as misconduct.

They took into consideration the lapse of time (10 months) before the matter was brought forward. Details of what happened were recounted and the panel acknowledged a recollection by witnesses may not be accurate.

But in their ruling, the panel acknowledged: The two were clearly identifiable to the public as holding positions of responsibility within the Rugby circles and hence were required to exhibit behaviour befitting their position. By publicly engaging in a fight they exhibited behaviour likely to bring the Union or the Game into Disrepute (KRU Regulation 18.1.9 (c)).

The parties and their representatives were given an opportunity to give their input before a decision was conveyed after 72 hours.

This was a landmark ruling which sets a precedent on how soon a hearing should be convened and the conduct of rugby officials and players in incidents which may bring the game into disrepute.