Julius Achon insists Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) officials knew but chose to ignore the coach accused of sexually harassing national female runners.
Former world junior champion Achon is at loggerheads with UAF and last month filed a petition in the Kampala High Court seeking to nullify results of the recently-conducted Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) elections while appearing on Kfm’s Saturday Sports program said UAF president Dominic Otucet and his entire executive didn’t do enough to save the young athletes’ plight.
In the aftermath of the Africa Cross-country Championships held at Kololo Airstrip where Uganda performed below average, several female athletes have accused a national coach of harassing them sexually and physically in a scandal unearthed by Daily Monitor athletics writer Sande Bashaija.
The female runners spent a month camping in Kapchorwa alongside their male counterparts preparing for the continental competition, which was dominated by Kenya on Sunday. Three male coaches conducted the camp.
“The federation didn’t everything possible to help the young abused girls,” the 1996 and 2000 Olympian said.
“We need to develop athletics starting from the grassroots and attract sponsors but we need not to ignore such crucial things in the game.
“In every aspect – the vice has been going on for some time but nothing was done to punish the offender and from my point categorically the UAF displinary committee would have done something before the bubble burst.
“I feel really sorry for the female athletes because he was obviously took advantage of them several times and they need justice.
“I was coaching US High school girls before coming back to Uganda and a similar incident happened but the offender was taken to prison immediately.
Athletics federation secretary general Beatrice Ayikoru on Monday denied knowledge of the sexual assault allegations.
“I met the athletes in Kampala and no one raised the issue in the meeting,” Ayikoru said to Monitor then.
The young runners confided in team captain Moses Kipsiro, who later confronted the coach.