VETERAN long distance runner Epiphanie Nyirabarame has petitioned the sports ministry, accusing the national athletics federation of deliberately sidling her for the London 2012 Olympics Games in place of her rival Claudette Mukasakindi.
In her petition letter to Minister Protais Mitali dated July 4, which Times Sport has seen, Nyirabarame, who took part in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games in Athens and Beijing respectively, complained of unfairness in the selection process.
The 31-year old runner, who has been representing the country since 1998, is furious that the athletics federation has not given her a satisfactory reason why she was not included on the Olympics bound team despite having a wild card courtesy of a sponsorship bursary from Olympic Solidarity Commission.
"I was given a bursary to prepare for the London Olympics by Olympic Solidarity last year but the federation (RAF) didn't get for me competitions to get the minimum requirement and when some competitions became available, I was told there was no money," Nyirabarame told Times Sport by phone on Sunday.
The marathoner added, "I have been training hard since last year for the available wildcard to take part in the Olympics Games, but I came to learn recently it had been given to someone else yet I was the one who had been given a bursary which means that the wild card should have gone to me."
However, Times Sport could not get hold of the athletics federation Secretary General Johnson Rukundo for a comment as his phone was switched off by press time.
The first batch of athletes that will represent Rwanda left last week for London where they will continue preparations for London Olympics Games slated to start on July 27.
Robert Kajuga, who will compete in the 10.000m category, Jean Pierre Mvuyekure (half marathon),Yannick Fred Sekamana (Judo) and Alphosine Agahozo (swimming) alongside chef de Mission Serge Mwambali are expected to arrive in London today.
The quartet will spend two weeks at West Suffolk Athletics Arena at Abbeycroft Leisure's Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre which was chosen by the country to host the Rwandan Olympic and Paralympics teams as they prepare for London 2012.
Team Rwanda will later join the Olympic village in London on July 18 to fine tune ahead of the Games. The second batch is expected to leave for London on Thursday.