Sports Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo has expressed sadness over the reported drug-test failure by Team Nigeria’s first gold medallist at the on-going 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, Chika Amalaha.
Convinced that Amalaha is innocent, an angered Dr. Danagogo has warned that officials as well as coaches who are found to aid or condone cheating would face severe sanctions from the National Sports Commission.
Amalaha, who was the heroine of Team Nigeria at the African Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana last May where she won three gold medals in her weightlifting event, was alleged to have failed the first sample drug-test conducted on her after her Games’ record lifting in the 53kg category and suspended pending the result of the B sample.
Dr. Danagogo who is also at the Games and had directed that Team Nigeria’s medalists been rewarded instantly for their feat to further boost their morale described the dope incident as embarrassing but hopes the B test turns out negative.
“The reported first sample drug-test failure of our female weightlifter is very embarrassing and I feel so saddened although I’m still convinced that the 16 yr old Amalaha is innocent and hopes that she doesn’t fail the ‘confirmation test’,” the Minister said from the Games venue in Glasgow.
As a way of curbing the drug issue, he stressed that, “nevertheless I must use my office as Sports Minister to enshrine tenets of integrity and fair competition in our sports, especially as it concerns the youths.
In that regard, I will ensure the use of MRI scanning devices amongst others, as routine on our age-grade players, and pre-competition drug-test regime on athletes generally.”