Kenyan Olympic official arrested over theft of Rio kits

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SHAFAQNA – A senior Kenyan athletics official was arrested Monday after stolen sports kits were discovered at his home in Nairobi, police said.

Ben Ekumbo, deputy chairman of the National Olympic Committee, was detained as part of a police probe into the theft of sportswear and equipment meant for Kenyan athletes during the Rio Olympics earlier this year.

Boxes containing Team Kenya Nike footwear, tracksuits and bags were recovered from his home in Westlands, a police officer said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The officer said that the operation was carried out by police from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation.

“They raided the house of Ekumbo and found numerous boxes of Nike sports kits, which were meant to be used in the Olympics,” the officer said. “Some of them were for the runners while others belonged to the swimming team. Ekumbo will be taken to court tomorrow, on Tuesday.”

Kenya’s Olympic bid was marred my athletes’ complaints about missing sportswear that led to the disbanding of the Kenyan Olympic committee over the “embarrassment”.

A government report released Friday into the embezzlement of funds at the Rio games recommended action against those who misappropriated millions of dollar.

To date, senior officials have been charged with stealing more than $250,000 meant for housing and supplies for the country’s athletes in Brazil. Despite the scandal, Kenyan athletes won six gold medals, six silvers and a bronze.

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