Details of how malicious Ministry of sports officials have emerged and how they illegally took the 32 joyriders to US last week.
The 32 joyriders were brought in illegaly by the officials at the Ministry of Sports and their VISAs processed faster leaving the legitimate athletes behind including the 100m sprinter Ferdiand Omanyala. When the list for the legitimate athletes reached USA embassy in Kenya, eyebrows were raised and the embassy stopped the VISA process locking out Omanyala. The cunning sports officials ensured that the 32 joyriders were slotted among the first batch of the Kenyan contingent, which jetted out of the country to avoid detection from the US embassy officials.
Famous athletes including Omanyala and the President Athletics Kenya Jackson Tuwei were among those slotted for the final batch. They were to fly out of the country mid of this week only to be locked out after the US embassy officials in charge of VISA questioned the excess number of delegation added.
Athletics Kenya had presented a list of 80 athletes including officials to Ministry of Sports for visa processing but the list submitted to the USA embassy in Kenya had 112 names, additional 32 names unknown to the Athletics Kenya. US embassy pointed fingers at the ministry accusing them that they might have manipulated the list of the games contingent which led to the visa standoff.
A source at the embassy who sought anonymity due to security reasons stated that the ministry officials added Tuwei and Omanyala in the final batch just to hoodwink the embassy officials because they knew the sprinter Omanyala and AK President could not be left behind. CS Sports Amina Mohammed however downplayed the visa standoff terming it as a normal challenge they usually face.
According to Amina Mohammed, visa issuance is a government responsibility which requires to undergo a rigorous process prior to visa issuance. The sports scandal is not new to the country as a similar one happened during the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. The Government officials stole the air tickets and sold them to the non-athletes leaving them to sort for an alternative means to reach Brazil. The US embassy refused to issue extra visas after the list submitted by Athletics Kenya was exceeded, 80 names had been approved by Athletics Kenya and list submitted.
Finally, Ferdinand Omanyala obatined visa after CS Amina Mohammed intervene on the situation and pushed for processing. He travelled the same day his race was beginning and only arrived 3 hrs before the race began. With his resilience and positivity, he emerged number 3 and qualified for the semi-finals. Today, this morning semi-finals race happened and Omanyala lost emerging number 5 which is still a positive performance considering the challenges he underwent before travelling.