…assures Nigerians on athletes performance
Charles Ogundiya and Segun Bailey
The President of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, currently in Tokyo for the ongoing Olympic Games, has revealed that the federation has put in place appropriate measures to comply with Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules of World Athletics.
This was in respect to the recent disqualification by the Athletic Integrity Unit of 10 of the country’s qualified athletes for the Olympics.
While revealing steps taken to forestall such in the future, Okowa said the setback would not in anyway affects the athletes cleared for the Games.
According to the federation president: “All our athletes resident in Nigeria and who qualified for the Olympic Games completed the three mandatory tests. Most of our top athletes resident in the USA also completed their tests.
“However, a few athletes in the American collegiate system were tested, but those tests were deemed not to have complied with WADA sample collection and analysis standards. It must be noted that no Nigerian athlete tested positive to prohibited substances.
“Also to note is that 12 top Nigerian athletes have been cleared and are eligible for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The AFN bears responsibility for any lapses that may have occurred during the process and reassures Nigerians that our performances will not be negatively impacted.
“To avoid future occurrences, the AFN has decided to appoint Professor Ken Anugweje as the head of the Medical and Anti- Doping Commission of the Federation.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development said it regretted the unfortunate disqualification of 10 Nigerian Track and Fields athletes.
The Ministry in a press statement signed by Nebelosa Anako, Permanent Secretary and Chef de Mission Team Nigeria said that other athletes have been cleared to participate.
“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development regrets the unfortunate development of 10 Nigerian Track and Field athletes not meeting the testing conditions of the Athletics Integrity Unit,” the statement read.
“The situation is being managed by the Ministry and the AFN which have requested all athletes in the Games Village to remain focussed to doing our motherland proud.
“The Ministry notes and commends the decision of the AFN to appoint Prof. Ken Anugweje as Head of it’s Medical and Anti-doping Commission.”