• In a press statement, the agency blamed Omanyala for not handing in the necessary documentation for Visa processing. 

• Tuwei said Omanyala was among the other athletes who went for Visa Biometrics at the embassy of the United States in on Nairobi on July 7.

Ferdinand Omanyala smiling
Image: Wilfred Nyangaresi

Athletics Kenya (AK) has opened up about issues surrounding 100 metres Africa Champion Ferdinand Omanyala's delayed departure for the Oregon World championships.

In a press statement, the agency blamed Omanyala for not handing in the necessary documentation for Visa processing. 

AK said that the preparation for the championship started in early June and selected a contingent of 80 athletes and officials.

"Athletics Kenya engaged an external expert firm to process visa applications for the traveling delegation to ensure a smooth process. Athletics Kenya did not engage the Ministry during these initial visa applications,” stated AK President, Jackson Tuwei.

Tuwei said Omanyala was among the other athletes who went for Visa Biometrics at the embassy of the United States in Nairobi on July 7.

"The rest were issued with their Visa a day later while Omanyala's passport was not released. He needed to fill additional forms referred to as supplementary questioning for Visa applicants, to verify some facts," said AK. 

However, Tuwei said his failure to fill out the forms before the deadline led to the delay that saw him arrive in the US hours before his first race. 

The agency played down claims that it prioritized facilitating government officials' travel to the United States over athletes.

"Allegations that persons other than athletes and support personnel illegally travelled to Oregon are false and unsubstantiated. Athletics Kenya hopes that this statement will set the record straight as a true account of the status of the Kenyan delegation in Oregon," read the statement. 

The ministry has put in place a strict policy to ensure that only officials with specific roles accompany teams out of the country.

"The ministry has ensured that the athletes, national teams, and their support personnel are financed, adequately prepared, equipped, and facilitated in order to participate in international events, a practice that has contributed to the immense growth of sports, especially athletics," the body further stated.

Following the challenges, Omanyala failed to make it to the finals of the 100m race after finishing 5th in the semi-finals on Sunday.

The Africa 100m champion clocked a sluggish 10.14 secs missing out on the two automatic qualifying spots.

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