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Athletes storm Kenyan athletics federation office in protest over doping

Monday, November 23, 2015 - 01:03

Angry Kenyan athletes take over their country's athletics federation headquarters and demand the resignation of leading officials.

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SHOWS: NAIROBI, KENYA (NOVEMBER 23, 2015) (CITIZEN TV - NO ACCESS KENYA) 1. ATHLETICS KENYA HEAD QUARTERS, BANNERS DRAPED OVER GATE TO ATHLETICS KENYA 2. ATHLETES INSIDE PREMISES DOING PUSH UPS AND CHANTING SLOGANS 3. ATHLETICS KENYA OFFICIALS OUTSIDE PREMISES 4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACKSON TUWEI, PRESIDENT, ATHLETICS KENYA, SAYING: "This is really unfortunate that is why we are outside here we can not access the building because we have been locked out by people we do not know." 4. BANNER READING 'ISAIH KIPLAGAT AND DAVID OKEYO YOUR TIME IS OVER' 5. ANOTHER BANNER READING 'IT'S TIME FOR JUSTICE AND WELFARE OF ATHLETES' 6. MORE OF PROTESTING ATHLETES AT ATHLETICS KENYA HEADQUARTERS 7. ATHLETE CHANTING SLOGANS ON MEGAPHONE STORY: Dozens of Kenyan athletes stormed the athletics federation headquarters in Nairobi on Monday (November 23), locking out officials and demanding that top Athletics Kenya (AK) bosses step down following allegations of graft and doping cover-ups. Kenya, boasting some of the world's finest middle and long-distance runners, has in recent years been rocked by a spate of failed drug tests and the country's athletics federation has drawn criticism for not doing enough to tackle doping. Allegations of corruption among AK chiefs tied to a Nike sponsorship deal, combined with Russia's recent ban from global athletics, have stirred fears that the East African nation could be banned from international track and field. The mostly low-level athletes swooped on the AK headquarters at about 7.30am local time (GMT), ordering staff to leave and barricading themselves inside the building, next to Nyayo National Stadium. "We are taking united action to bring sanity to Athletics Kenya management and leadership," the Professional Athletes' Association of Kenya (PAAK) said in a statement handed out to reporters outside the AK headquarters. PAAK said the doping scandal and media claims that top AK officials had embezzled some sponsorship money deposited by U.S. sports giant Nike were "putting genuine Kenyan athletes at risk of being banned". AK officials have previously denied corruption and said the Nike deal was above board. By noon, the athletes were still in control of the building, where placards aimed at AK officials read "corrupt go home" and "your time is over". Jackson Tuwei, President of Athletics Kenya said outside the headquarters: "This is really unfortunate. We can not access the building because we have been locked out by people we do not know." In Kenya's running heartlands in the Rift Valley region, most athletes blame AK for the growing doping problem. They say the federation has for years tried to sweep the problem under the carpet and hasn't tackled the problem seriously. Isaac Mwangi, chief executive of AK, earlier this month told Reuters the federation was hamstrung by shortages of resources in the battle against doping but was doing its best. After meeting officials from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) this month, Kenya's Olympics committee chairman Kipchoge Keino said the country faced a suspension unless it tackled doping more seriously.

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Athletes storm Kenyan athletics federation office in protest over doping

Monday, November 23, 2015 - 01:03