Ngeny resigns from AK over frustrations over doping, corruption

By emmanuel sabuni
Mar 12, 2021

Sydney Olympics 1500m Olympic champion Noah Ng’eny has resigned as an Executive Committee member of Athletics Kenya voicing his frustration at not being able to push ahead on the fight against doping and corruption at Riadha House.

Ng'eny, 38, said he had no desire to continue serving in a system where financial misappropriation thrived and there was no real willingness to support the fight against doping.

“As former international athlete who won gold for Kenya at various global competitions, I feel betrayed by the current state of affairs, hence my decision to resign and call for fresh elections that will heal our sport and restore the respect we deserve, especially with the 2016 being an Olympic year,” said Ngeny.

“No funds have been set aside for the important education of athletes on the banned substances which warrants a re-think of the management of our association,” he claimed in his resignation later dated March 11, 2021 addressed to Tuwei and copied to Cabinet Secretary for Sports Dr. Hassan Wario, citing failure by the current executive committee led by retired Lt General  Jack Tuwei, to meet its principle objectives.

“Many times AK leaders especially the executive is not serious in fighting doping menace in the country even if they talk in public, it is just a story for the papers and not in real life. If they are in deed serious, why is it that there is no progress in fighting the vice.

“Following the unfortunate developments at the Athletics Kenya executive, I wish to tender my immediate resignation as an executive committee member in charge of athletes in the AK executive committee,” read the statement.

He joins former Athletics Kenya Uasin Gishu County chairman Benjamin Limo and 2005 world 500m champion who also quit his position in 2014 over poor working relationship with AK’s head office and doping.

Ngeny claims the current executive committee is unable to meet its objectives including serving athletes and running its operations since most of the members were suspended. “As we speak now, the current executive committee is unable to meet its principal objectives owing to the current suspension of its officials namely the president Isaiah Kiplagat, senior vice-president in charge of competitions David Okeyo and the chief Executive officer Mwangi,” Ng’eny said.

“The absence of these three office holders, operations at Riadha House have been seriously affected and little progress achieved.”

He mentioned failure by the executive to convene a Special or Annual General meeting to either ratify the interim president or conduct fresh elections to fill the gaps has led to the flouting of the association’s constitution following the expiry of the three-month period from April last year.

AK president Isaiah Kiplagat, his vice David Okeyo and former treasurer Joseph Kinyua were suspended late last year for allegedly siphoning Nike sponsorship funds and sub-version of doping controls. The fourth official Isaac Mwangi who was the federations’ Chief Executive Officer was suspended last month after Joyce Sakari and Koki Manunga who failed drug tests claimed that he asked for a bribe to reduce their suspensions.

Sponsorship money swindle, claims Ngeny 

On corruption matters, Ng’eny pointed out the fact that Kenya right now is not hosting any competitive meetings including AK relays as stipulated in the calendar.

“The calendar shows clearly that we must be having relays meeting ahead of world relay championships but nothing is going on,” he said.

The 1,000m world record holder claims that the Ksh. 120 million received from Safaricom has been swindled as most of the planned events not held.

“I am asking a very serious and legitimate question, where did the kshs. 120 million given to AK by Safaricom last year go? The mess is too high to contain,” said Ng’eny.

“It is shocking to learn that AK has allocated six officials for the 11 athletes who will compete at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March in Portland, also IAAF World Half Marathon championships in Cardiff where there are five officials, an increase from the traditional one or two officials in the past. This is an unacceptable ratio,” Ng’eny explained as he also punched holes into the organization of the 2017 IAAF under 18 Championships.

“We only have 16 months to the championships not unless urgent elections of AK are held to pick suitable replacement of the suspended officials, then hosting these championships will be an impossible task. This has jeopardized preparations for the championships due to the executive’s lackadaisical manner in addressing such issues,” said Ng’eny.