The NOCK could have passed a turning point today in its internal feud ©Getty Images

Kenya could be set to avoid an International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspension after the ruling Board of the country's National Olympic Committee belatedly agreed to support a new constitution today.

It comes after months of wrangling over how best to reform the under-fire body.

A recent General Assembly meeting ended in deadlock after an Executive Board-supported majority voted against new statutes despite an IOC demand that they must be approved.

IOC patience appeared close to breaking point, with the organisation then "putting on hold all payments of subsidies to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK)".

It was widely expected that the IOC Executive Board would be forced to suspend Africa's most successful Olympic medal winning nation at its meeting starting here on Thursday (March 16).

Today's U-turn may now have avoided that.

Rubber-stamping is, however, still required at a General Assembly scheduled for Nairobi on March 28.

"The Executive Board has unanimously agreed to support the adoption of the draft constitution," it was revealed in a letter sent to all NOCK member federations, seen by insidethegames.

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya Executive Board backed down in favour of the new constitution today ©ITG
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya Executive Board backed down in favour of the new constitution today ©ITG

The only items on the agenda for the special General Assembly will be "to receive, discuss and adopt" the new draft constitution and proposing a date for an Electoral General Assembly.

The draft of the constitution proved controversial as it pledged to strip all existing Board members of their voting power.

Under the previous system, every member held one vote each which gave them a huge head start in the case of a bloc vote.

Changing this system will make it harder for incumbent members to stay in power.

The NOCK has been in crisis since it was disbanded by the country's Sports Minister Hassan Wario after Rio 2016.

Officials were accused of key accommodation and travel mishaps in the Brazilian city, including the "mishandling of accreditation", as well as kits which allegedly never reached athletes.

A road-map towards a new constitution and elections was introduced by the IOC last year, but has suffered repeated delays.

"We are happy that finally NOCK has decided to start following the IOC directive of March 3, 2017 and the steps they have taken might just have saved Kenya from being banned by IOC," said Kenya Table Tennis Association President Andrew Mudibo, a key reforming figure opposing the current leadership.

"But we will wait for the IOC Executive Board meeting."