NAIROBI – Kip Keino has denied wrongdoing in the Kenyan Olympic corruption scandal, telling The Associated Press that he didn’t have control over the government money that prosecutors say was embezzled and misused around the time of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.
Keino told the AP in a phone interview late Thursday that he was “not writing any government checks” at the time.
Keino was one of four former Olympic and government officials due in court Friday to face charges but he didn’t appear, lending weight to speculation he may not be charged.
The other three, including Kenya’s former sports minister, did appear in court.
Talking to AP earlier, Keino appeared to blame government officials in the sports ministry for the misuse of the money, saying “it’s their people who did it.”
Keino, a two-time Olympic champion and honorary member of the International Olympic Committee, was one of seven officials prosecutors initially accused of embezzling and misappropriating more than $545,000 meant to fund Kenya’s athletes in Rio.
Three were charged with corruption and abuse of office on Monday.