Nigerian Sports Minister Solomon Dalung on Tuesday vowed to tighten anti-doping measures after eight athletes tested positive during last year’s All Africa Games in Congo.
“This has brought to the fore the need to conduct more dope tests and strengthen all components of the nation’s anti-doping programme in order to detect, deter and prevent our athletes from this unethical behaviour,” Dalung told a press conference.
Competing in five sports — athletics, para-athletics, weightlifting, para-weightlifting and wrestling — the athletes tested positive for banned substances ranging from anabolic steroids to diuretics.
Seven were banned for four years with weightlifter Elizabeth Onuah, a second time offender, getting an eight-year suspension.
A patron of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Ibrahim Galadima, said this scandal could adversely affect the country at the Rio Olympics in August.
“It is indeed embarrassing. It is a major setback at the wrong time. Our preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics are shaky and so this is indeed very unfortunate,” he lamented.