News Brief

Kenya’s Sporting Nightmare Gets Uglier: Olympic Head Honcho Charged for Allegedly Embezzling $256,000 in Rio

Chef-de-mission Stephen Arap Soi has been slapped with five charges of theft during the Rio Olympic games.

Just when it seemed that Kenya’s sporting nightmare couldn’t get any uglier, it has.


Chef-de-mission Stephen Arap Soi is facing five charges of theft for allegedly embezzling 25.6m Kenyan shillings ($256,000) from Government, National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) and Athletics Kenya at Nairobi’s Milimani Law Courts, Citizen TV reports. Soi has denied the charges.

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya Vice-President Pius Ochieng and Secretary-General Francis Kinyili Paul also face charges of fraudulently acquiring kit designated by Nike for Team Kenya, allegations that they deny. According to Kenyan athletes, only two kit were supplied, although according to Nike, the Kenyan team had been outfitted with five of them.

Soi has been considered the mastermind behind the scandals and corruption in Rio from doping allegations to subpar training facilities and shanty Rio accommodations that overshadowed Kenya’s 13 Olympic medals—the most of any country on the African continent.

He stands accused of failing to declare $234,000 to customs officials while flying from Kenya to Brazil on July 20. The money went unaccounted for in Rio, prosecutors say. Soi has also been charged for allegedly stealing smaller amounts of the remaining $2,000 on other occasions.

A follow-up hearing has been set for Oct. 24.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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