NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) " The Kenyan Olympic committee elections were called off on Friday on the morning they were supposed to take place after one of the sports federations barred from voting obtained a court order.

Paul Tergat was set to be elected unopposed as the new head of the troubled National Olympic Committee of Kenya after incumbent Kip Keino, who has been in charge for nearly 20 years, failed to secure a nomination.

The elections were suspended after the taekwondo federation, whose officials were prevented from standing as candidates or voting, went to court.

The elections are being overseen by the Centre for Multiparty Democracy in Kenya, which barred Stephen Arap Soi and two of his colleagues from Kenya Taekwondo.

Advertisement

Soi is one of four Kenyan officials facing theft charges in a scandal over missing money and equipment at last year's Olympics, where he was the Kenya chef de mission. The criminal charges weren't the reason given for his exclusion, however. Election overseers said internal battles over the leadership of the taekwondo federation meant they couldn't vote. Kenya's cycling federation also wasn't allowed to take part in the elections.

Kenyan sport is seeking to elect an entirely new leadership at NOCK after the Olympic committee was embroiled in a scandal over large amounts of missing kit provided for the team by sponsor Nike for the Rio de Janeiro Games. A report also alleged more than $800,000 meant to fund Kenya athletes' stay in Rio went missing.

Soi, two former NOCK vice presidents, and the former secretary general have been charged with theft of equipment. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and are out on bail.

The International Olympic Committee has pressured NOCK to reform, forcing it to adopt a new constitution aimed at improving governance and hold elections. The IOC has stopped sending money to NOCK until the elections are held.