RIO DE JANEIRO, When it rains it pours! That’s whats happening at team Kenya at the Rio Olympics.
The team management on Thursday confirmed that they have banned and expelled John Anzrah the sprints coach from the team camp, just hours to the start of the track and field competition at the Olympic stadium following a ‘stupid mixup’ in the Olympics village early Wednesday.
Anzrah is the second team official to be ousted out of team Kenya’s unsettled Olympic camp after Michael Rotich earlier in the week.
Rotich, who was leading the track and field Olympics team in Rio was sent home on Monday and is currently facing doping bribery charges back home.
Anzrah who arrived in Rio last week had been staying at a hotel as he awaits to join athletes in the Olympic village, was allegedly found in possession of an athlete’s accreditation card in the dining area.
He had accessed the village then as a day guest.
Doping control officials who had listed the Kenyan middle distance runner for a random out of competition drug test trailed Anzrah and picked him from his games credentials and compelled him to give his urine samples for testing.
According to a source close to the camp Anzrah tried to explain that he was not the runner they sought, but the officials insisted that he must produce the samples as stipulated. He complied and even signed the papers.
“It is a stupid incident, stupid thing really for a coach of his experience to be found in possession of an athlete’s accreditation possibly because he wanted to access an area that he may not have had access to because his credentials as a team official did not allow him. Who does that any way?” Stephen Soi, the head of delegation of team Kenya asked angrily as he confirmed the incident to Sports News Arena in Rio.
Anzrah, Catherine Ndereba and Joseph Mosonik have been staying at a hotel and could not access the games village as team Kenya has currently exceeded their officials’ quota of 36 at the games village.
Anzrah has been staying in a hotel in Rio
According to Soi, the 61-year-old coach explained the mixup to the team management afterwards who then presented the middle distance runner to the doping officers and also reported the matter to the International Olympics Committee, IOC.
“As soon as we realised this we went to the testing officials and presented the runner with his photo ID. The officials poured the samples and took the athletes in front of the medical officers. We met afterwards and agreed that the coach had acted irresponsibly first by taking an athlete’s accreditation and even presenting his samples for testing,” added Soi.
The accreditation card is a delicate non transferable identification card issued by the games organisers on behalf of the IOC,that should be worn at all times while in the Olympic village and the games venue and also act as an entry document into Brazil.
Anzrah was expected to move into the games village this evening alongside the other two coaches after some of team Kenya athletes and coaches who have finished their events leave for Nairobi to make room for the remaining officials.
“He was listed to move into the village today as part of the rotational official listing,”Soi said.
Instead he will travel back home with the delegation and is expected to arrive in Nairobi on Friday. He had been training the sprints team of 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles runner.
Anzrah is an experienced athlete who competed for Kenya mainly in the 400m racing at the 1987 final of world championships in the 4 by 400m and the 1984 Olympic games where he raced in both events reaching the heats and therefore understood the strict accreditation requirements, an argument the team management held when they decided to send him back.
However the whole issue puts NOCK on the spot as they never planned in advance for the team logistics and accommodation in the games village.
American based Carvin Nkanata was also refused entry into the games village as he did not have his accreditation and Kenyan passport that could have been sorted before his arrival in Brazil.
According to the Associated Press, the IOC said that 2,000 drug tests have been conducted so far at the Olympics, with no positive cases as yet reported.IOC spokesman Mark Adams said 2,097 doping controls against a targeted 5000 have been carried out since the opening of the athletes’ village.The number includes 1,775 urine tests, 201 biological passport checks and 121 blood controls.