By Fidelis Ebu, Abuja
Former world junior athletics champion and member of the national team to many a major championships including the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Uche Emedolu has been banned by the National Sports Commission.
The NSC’s hammer on Emedolu followed the former speedster’s alleged dropping of baton at the 2008 Africa Athletics Championship in Addis-Ababa , Ethiopia and at the Beijing 2008 Olympics that was seen as deliberate, indiscipline and frustration to his teammates.
While announcing the ban, the NSC director-general, Chief Patrick Ekeji said investigations conducted by the panel confirmed that Emedolu’s dropping of the baton at the continental championships and in Beijing was deliberate, and wondered why the former Italy-based sprinter chose to frustrate his team mates.
“One cannot understand why Uchenna Emedolu decided to frustrate his teammates at the championships. The dropping of the baton was not just once. It was first at the African Athletics Championships in Addis-Ababa , Ethiopia in 2008 and it was repeated at the Beijing Olympics.
“Investigations conducted by the Panel confirmed that it was deliberate; and such an athlete should not be allowed to influence these up and coming athletes”, Chief Patrick Ekeji said at the award dinner organised for the victorious athletes to the recently concluded maiden ECOWAS Under-23 Games.
Bitter that Emedolu’s alleged action was an act of indiscipline, Ekeji also directed that the monetary award to the accompanying technical crew to the games, which Emedolu was one of the beneficiaries, be returned to the treasury.