Cameroon – Rio 2016: A former athlete says favoritism, corruption, and embezzlement are the causes of our poor performance in Rio

Written by Deckson N.

As in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Cameroonian athletes might return from Rio 2016 Olympics without medals, except a miracle happens. But the first results of this edition are worse than those of four years ago.

The majority of Cameroonian athletes could not get past the preliminaries. Yet, unlike previous years, the Government has allocated more money. More than one billion three hundred thousand FCFA for the preparation and participation of qualified Cameroonians. What then can explain the under-performance of the Cameroon team in Rio? While waiting for the explanations of officials of the National Olympic and Sports Committee of Cameroon, managers of public funds provided by the state, some athletes are pointing the finger at the poor conditions of preparation, poor support of athletes, and misappropriation of funds for their preparations and various bonuses.

On a more incisive tone, Alain Olivier Nyounai, former champion athlete, denounced a system that fattens the leaders at the expense of the athletes. “The phenomenon lasted for over a decade, athletes are sacrificed, the same people remain in charge of sports institutions. Athletes are only used to disburse billions, which is their main trading point. Some leaders prefer to give these money to their offspring. It hurts us as athletes and yet again it continuous. Because athletes are slaves serving master leaders.

They are there to be served and not to serve. I have seen children of these leaders become athletes in order to get a scholarship from the NOC (National Olympic Commission) for 4 years in Canada at the expense of those who were powerful and could bring some things to the country with a good track. It’s sad to see untalented people take the place of talented ones through the prism of networks and favoritism. Bolt, Tyson, Riner, Ethiopians, Kenyans, etc. who win for their country are monitored and assisted for years to reach the highest level and win medals.

But in Cameroon, we prepare for the medal in one or two months amateur training course to say at the end that athletes are not talented and then restart another budget as they wish. This is management by ambush for athletes caught up in their passion, I speak about what I know… ” he said.

Françoise Mbango offered Cameroon her last Olympic medal. It was a gold medal in the triple jump in 2008 in Beijing.

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Deckson N.

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