Kenya's Kemboi to take part in Olympics despite assault charges
Nairobi, June 30 (IANS) World steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi is still in the Kenyan London Olympics team after Team Kenya CEO Stephen Soi termed the assault charges against him a plot.
Kemboi was arraigned in an Eldoret court Thursday accused of assaulting 26-year-old Ann Njeri who claims the Athens Olympic and two-time world champion stabbed her after she turned down his demands for sex, reported Xinhua.
In a turn of events, National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) who were expected to unveil his replacement for London said they had dispatched an official to Eldoret to ascertain the claims as Soi revealed he had details that the runner may have been stitched up.
"The information we have is totally different from what has been portrayed but the matter is before court and I cannot discuss it," Soi said in Nairobi on Friday.
"I have a different version of what transpired and until he is proven guilty, we shall hold him innocent although this unfortunate case could have an effect on preparations for our team," he added.
"We are aware on the restrictions Britain imposes on any person involved in human rights issues but we are still consulting to find out what the implications are and what action to take in the best interest of the team and the country," the CEO stressed.
Despite the stringent laws in place in Britain, Soi pointed out that a host nation for the Olympics has no right to bar a competitor entered by his/her respective nation.
"Accreditation is a waiver of visa requirement but we will address the issue as soon as we get all the fact to see what the way forward is," he said.
Njeri was admitted at Med Hill Hospital in Eldoret with a stab wound to her chest following the Wednesday night incident where Kemboi claimed it was a botched attempt to rob him of money and other valuables.
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