By Solomon Nwoke
WEIGHTLIFTING Federation of Nigeria (NWF) has warned weight-lifters against smearing the image of the country through doping as the contingent departs for Cairo today for the Olympic qualifiers.
Secretary of the federation Uche Onwumeh told Sports Vanguard that the board of the NWF has sounded it loud and clear that it would not take it kindly with any lifter that would get involved in doping.
She said the federation has admonished the lifters against the use of any banned substance, saying that the federation would deal decisively with any lifter found wanting.
â€œWe have camped the lifters for two weeks at the National Institute for Sports (NIS) with good feeding and training to give their best at the championship which begins this weekend in Egypt.
We have also warned them against the use of banned drugs as the federation will not hesitate to come down heavily onÂ any lifter found wanting and we meant every word spoken. Any lifter that will rub mud on the face this country as a result of doping will be handed over to the National Drug Law Encforcement Agency (NDLEA) to deal with such lifterâ€, Onwumeh said.
Onwumeh said out of the 21 lifters who started the camping early this month only 10 lifters, a coach and an official would make the trip to Egypt for the championship which stars this weekend.
Among the lifters called to camp after a three day trials in Lagos include: Kingsley Kalu from Cross Rivers State, David Adeyemo, Oyo State, Taju Giwa (Niger) and Adbul Rasaq (Kogi) in the 56kg weight class. Others are Emmanuel Ofor (Abia) in the 69kg, Ismaila Sadiq (FCT) in the 77kg and Felix Joseph (Rivers) in the 85kg.
In the females are: Tosan Bawa (Delta), Bose Sunday (Rivers), Grace Isa (Katsina) and Augustina Nwokolo of Ogun State in the 48kg weight class while in the 53kg are Elizabeth Onua (Edo), Onyeka Azike and Mufili Bankole both from Osun State in the 53kg and in the 58kg class are Rachael Ekoshoria of Edo State and Uche Agu of Abia State.
Others are Aishatu Ibrahim (Katsina), Obioma Okoli (Ondo), Itohan Ebireshuesele (Edo) in the 63kg and in the 69kg are Blessing Ezealor (Imo) and Bilikisu Otunba of Ogun State.
The federation scribe however expressed satisfaction at the lifters conduct to training and hope that such should see them through in the African Olympic qualifiers in Egypt.