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Athletes, officials troop into UNILAG for Ladi Lawal Classics

The next leg of the   Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) monthly classic after its resuscitation in Makurdi last month begins today, June 26, at the University of Lagos Sports Complex, Akoka.

This edition named after the late group managing director of the DAAR Communications Plc, is expected to throw up surprises in some of the events as most top athletes are just waking up to the reality of no-longer-business-as-usual slogan of the new board.

Today, according to Maria Wophill, the scribe of the AFN, every athlete that has registered to participate will be allowed to compete and fight for places in Saturday’s final. The day-two of the Lagos Meet is strictly reserved for the emerging Classic athletes who competed in the finals of all the events of the Makurdi edition.

“We have thrown Friday open to all-comers who have registered to compete at this event. We have entries from several states of the federation and hope that what we are going to have on Friday will not be too large as to spread into the next day. I am really excited at the way states are responding to our Meets,” observed the obviously elated AFN scribe.

Meanwhile, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has declared zero tolerance for dope, warning athletes that heavy sanctions await anyone found to have cheated to win glory.

As part of the new resolve to totally cleanse the sport of drug use, the new board of the AFN is insisting that it will do everything possible to encourage athletes to be on top of their sports with necessary incentives and grants.
AFN President, Chief Solomon Ogba, who dropped this bombshell at the weekend, warned that henceforth, there would be no room for lazy athletes who are not ready to work hard to take Nigerian track and field to global level.

“We are sounding it loud and clear that there is no room for lazy athletes in this dispensation. We are going to do everything necessary to encourage our athletes to excel through grants and other incentives.  What we will not accept is attempts to cut corners and resort to doping to win medals. Stiff sanctions await anyone found involved in drug use,” warned the track and field boss.

Chief Ogba who returned to the country last night after overseeing Nigerian athletes compete at the Finals of the American NCAA in Arkansas, USA and the Trinidad and Tobago National Championship in Port of Spain, however, pledged to support fully whatever programme that will help athletes to be at their optimum best.

“I want our athletes to have good education side by side with their sports career. That is why I have taken it as a responsibility to have as many as possible Nigerian athletes gain admission into American universities for better prospects,” revealed the former Delta State sports commissioner.


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