By Ben Efe
Athletics Federation of Nigeria and the National Sports Commission have finalised plans to conduct the Magnetic Image Resonance(MRI) test on all the Nigerian junior athletes selected for the Youth Olympics Games and the IAAF world junior championships.
AFN technical and performance director, Sunday Bada stated that the development was in line with the directive by the Sports Minister, Ibrahim Bio to have only athletes within the stipulated age group represent Nigeria at the any international age-group competition. This according to the minister is to avoid embarrassment.
And also to ensure that the selected athletes attain their full potentials and not whittle away when they are expected to reach their peak performance.
â€œWe are in concert with the NSC conduct an MRI test on the junior athletes. The AFN clearly, is totally against the fielding of over-aged athletes,â€ said the former African 400m and 200m champion.
Nigeria athletes recently cleared the medals table at the West African region 11 athletics championships in Dakar, Senegal. That competition was the West African selection trial for the MaidenÂ Youth Olympics Games billed for the Singapore in August 14-26. The YOG is restricted to athletes under 18 and the IOC has warned participating nations on the consequence of age-cheating in the competition.
The athletes selected for the YOG are currently in camp at Oghara, Delta State.
Bada added that 23 athletes have been penciled down for the IAAF World junior championships July 19-25 in Moncton Canada.
â€œTheWorld Junior is for athletes under 20. So we have an extended list, including some of the YOG athletes, but at the ending of the day we are going to come up with our final selection,â€ Bada added.