Jackson Tuwei, President of Athletics Kenya. GETTY  IMAGES

A Kenyan court has ordered members of the national athletics governing body to vacate office after serving for eight years without holding elections. The board has been led by Jackson Tuwei who took over the reins when former president Isaiah Kiplagat was suspended over graft allegations in 2015.

The court ruling follows a petition filed in 2016 by 10 former international athletes, led by two-time Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui, asking Athletics Kenya (AK) to amend its constitution to allow athletes to serve on the body. Nairobi High Court judge Lawrence Mugambi delivered the ruling, ending a long legal saga that had prevented the athletics body from holding elections. 

"The officials and Executive Committee of the 1st defendant (Athletics Kenya) who have been in office for a cumulative period of 8 years... have fully served their terms and shall vacate office forthwith," said the ruling, seen by AFP. "They are ineligible to stand for any position in the organisation." 

The board is chaired by retired army general Jackson Tuwei, who took over the reins when former long-serving president Isaiah Kiplagat was suspended in 2025 over graft allegations. Tuwei was elected as one of four vice-presidents of World Athletics (WA) in August last year.

Jackson Tuwei was elected one of four World Athletics vice presidents. GETTY IMAGES
Jackson Tuwei was elected one of four World Athletics vice presidents. GETTY IMAGES

The court ordered Tuwei to review AK's constitution within the next 90 days "with a view to enhancing inclusivity (and) democratic representation of various stakeholders in athletics in the highest decision-making body of the first respondent and to ensure greater transparency". 

In November 2015, protesting Kenyan athletes stormed the AK headquarters in Nairobi, locking out officials and demanding the resignation of top bosses following allegations of bribery and doping cover-ups.

Kenya, home to some of the world's best middle and long distance runners, has been rocked by a series of failed drug tests in recent years. The sport is reeling from the loss of world marathon record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, a 24-year-old father of two, who died in a late-night car crash last month.