IOC Member Arrest Overshadows GNOC President Election

February 14, 2011

Elections took place over the weekend by the Gambia National Olympic Association, announcing Momodou Dibba as the organisation’s new president. Dibba beat competition from his only rival, Abdoulie Touray in a decision overshadowed by the arrest of acting president and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Beatrice Allen.

However, the decision to elect Dibba did not go smoothly and is set to be investigated by the IOC after several sports associations in Gambia boycotted the elections because they claim Touray was not being treated fairly.

This will not come as pleasing news and puts the nation’s future involvement in the Olympics in further doubt after the IOC warned in the build-up to the election that the Gambian Government were risking getting the country suspended from London 2012 if they are suspected of interfering.

The post was vacated last July when Lang Tombong Tamba, also chief of defence staff for Gambia’s armed forces, was sentenced to death for his alleged role in a 2009 coup to oust the Government.

Acting president, Allen was forced to step down after her arrest last month along with GNOC treasurer Ousman Wadda and accounts officer Muhammed Janneh on allegations of embezzlement. 

Dibba promised to give sport in Gambian schools a higher priority, stating: “My sport development agenda is to focus my attention on the sporting associations, in particular for athletes to develop and excel in their various sporting disciplines, to ensure that GNOC takes full responsibility to regularise the associations’ annual contributions to their respective international federations to enable them to have a platform in meetings, conferences and seminars in these international bodies.”