Chief Solomon OgbaÂ Â gatheredÂ athletes, coaches and offciating officials at the Nkoyi Ibori Classics on Saturday and bared his mind:
â€œWeâ€™ll do our best to take care of your welfare. Weâ€™ll do our best to make you compete and help you into school system because we are planning for action to return to the schools; from secondary schools to the university levels. But you have to be on your toes too. You must work hard.
You must be competitive and very importantly, you must remain clean.Â We donâ€™t intend to tolerate doping. Doping never helps. Some athletes have been caught doping. Even in the last National Sports Festival about six athletes doped. Thatâ€™s why Ogun State climbed to the second position on the table.
Weâ€™ll not tolerate doping. Coaches have not helped. We have a way to deal with this. From now, any coach whose athlete is caught doping will be banned as well as the athlete. And for your information, there were athletes who doped during their careers but are now married. We know some who have been affected by drugs and they are now battling to bear children. Doping affects both sexes, not only women. Some who doped have big problems now.
Stop doping if you ever did. Nothing can be better than your natural abilities. There are times those who dope slow down in their race not to be caught, so what sense does it make? We want to set standards in everything. In events like the Mobil All Nigeria Open, there will be participation standards. If you are not running about 10.8 seconds in the 100m for men, you will not qualify to participate because we want the heats to be reasonable. We have plans for coaches, officiating officials and the athletes.
Coaching is a big problem. So is officiating. No Nigerian officiates even in juniorÂ regional competitions . It is that bad. Our officials must write exams and improve their knowledge. Our coaches must do same. We plan to appoint foreign coaches who will work with the coaches we have now. We have plans for you all. I hope that you have plans for yourselves and track and field. We will be there for you.â€