Professional Athletics Association of Kenya (PAAK) has warned all individuals organizing for any race in the country that they should pay athletes as they had announced before the material day.
Speaking in Eldoret, PAAK President Wilson Kipsang said they have been working out to improve on many races in the country to ensure that all prize money is available before inviting athletes to take part since they are the most valuable people in that event.
“Basically what we are trying to do is to put to an end such races in our country. Once we find out that whereby it has been organized and organizers refuse to pay athletes, we summon them directly and if time allows and if he doesn’t pay on time, we take legal proceedings and we take him to court, where the association has good lawyers to take up the case,” said two time London marathon champion.
According to Kipsang, they have so far sanctioned eight races in the country after receiving complaints from athletes who were not paid and they had to make that such athletes are paid accordingly.
“We always make a follow up with Athletics Kenya to confirm the same if they were licensed to have such a race and explain why they did not pay athletes because if they promised to pay and we have evidence through documents available and you don’t pay or you relied on a certain sponsor and say he did not pay then you are wrong,” added the former Berlin marathon champion.
“We want the race organizers to make sure that he should assign the athletes money first before you cater for other things. It is sad for athletes not to be paid and you pay for other suppliers and forgetting the main person who is an athlete, because if an athlete does not come to your event to run then there will be no event. Why should you not value that person?” he questioned.
They have also come up with the best strategy of avoiding to compete in such races after mobilizing their athletes and sensitizing them about the poor management of such event.
We always make sure that events that don’t pay athletes, we make sure that athletes don’t compete. They have to abide by rules and regulations.
We make sure that it doesn’t happen again. We will mobilize athletes not to compete in such races. We have a lawyer as an association. Athletes should not run on debt again,” reiterated Kipsang.