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Rio 2016: Olympic Committee Dismisses Allegations Of Non-payment Of Bonuses 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Kalbaba Malboum poses with team CameroonThe National Olympic and Sports Committee has described as false, allegations that not all allowances were paid to athletes during the just ended Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Secretary General of the Committee, David Ojong, dished out the rebuttal during a press briefing in Yaounde on August 30.

Ojong, who was Chief of Mission to the Rio games, presented facts that virtually made nonsense of allegations that the Col. Kalkaba Malboum-led committee had not paid all allowances to some athletes.

One of the Cameroonian boxers, Hassan Ndam Njifack, had gone viral in the media with allegations of non-payment of allowances.

The boxer insinuated that such a situation was partly responsible for what he qualified as the poor performance of Team Cameroon in the Rio games.

“No allowances cannot be tied to the performance of the athletes. All their allowances were paid here in Cameroon before we left for Brazil,” Ojong averred.

To buttress his claims, Ojong showed reporters documents on which athletes signed out bonuses. One of the documents was a clear proof that Hassan Ndam Njikam, who raised the allegations, collected allowances.

The document, in which he acknowledged receipt of his bonuses, also has the signature of the National Trainer of Boxers, Alain Didier Ngatcham, who testifies as a witness.

“Ndam is talking about allowances for preparation, but I will tell you that he was not part of the Rio 2016 programme, he explained. He said allowances were given to athletes who were part of their programme from the very beginning.

But, immediately after Ndam’s qualification, we actually considered him and we asked him to produce the document testifying that he went through training. We could not just give money without proof of him going through training.

The National Olympic and Sports Committee official said they paid allowances to all the athletes. He said they also paid a particular kind of allowance to the national volleyball team for their training session in San Paolo, Brazil

“We paid this allowance to them immediately we arrived in Brazil. Those who left Brazil before we arrived, will be paid here in Cameroon as soon as the Finance Ministry official in charge of paying out the allowances returns to the country,” he stated.

He said the second type of allowances that they paid is called the acclimatisation allowance. This allowance is paid to athletes who went earlier to get acquainted with the climate in Brazil.

He said they also paid out the Olympic allowance, that is, FCFA 5,000 per day.

Ojong said they also paid out the participation allowance to all athletes and officials who took part in the Olympic Games. He said after all financial transactions would have been done, they will be able to give a full balance sheet of the allowances they paid out.

Everybody, he concluded, received allowances from the budget that was approved by the Minister of Sports and Physical Education.

Ojong took exception to those who qualified the performance of Team Cameroon as poor, admitting all the same that they could have done better.