Ethics body to investigate IAAF Council's David Okeyo
THE conduct of David Okeyo, a member of athletics’ world governing body’s ruling council, will be referred to the organisation’s ethics commission after it was revealed he is the subject of a police investigation in his native Kenya.
Okeyo, a vice-president of Athletics Kenya (AK) and a member of the IAAF council, is alleged to have siphoned off funds from a sponsorship deal between the national association and sportswear firm Nike.
He denies any wrongdoing, but the investigation heaps further embarrassment on the IAAF, which on Friday provisionally suspended Russia from all competition after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) alleged the country had been involved in state-sponsored doping.
Former IAAF president Lamine Diack, his son Papa Massata Diack, advisor Habib Cisse and the former IAAF anti-doping chief Gabriel Dolle are all being investigated by French police over allegations they were complicit in covering up Russian doping, allegations they deny.
A statement issued by the IAAF on Okeyo read: “The IAAF was not aware of the investigation into Mr Okeyo in Kenya and the information has immediately been passed on to the independent IAAF ethics commission.
“As part of the root and branch governance reform project that (IAAF president) Sebastian Coe has announced, there will be new processes introduced to ensure all persons appointed to IAAF commissions and advisory groups in the future have been duly vetted and declared as ‘fit and proper persons’ to hold office.
“Over 200 people were due to be appointed to new commissions and advisory groups at the Council meeting at the end of this month but their appointment will now be delayed until the new procedures are in place.”
The Sunday Times reported a response from Nike, in which a spokesman for the firm said it had acted with “integrity” in its dealings with AK and that the “expectation and understanding” of the AK sponsorship deal was that the funds would be “used to support and service the teams and athletes”.
The spokesman added that Nike was co-operating with the local authorities in their investigation.