The Director General of the National Sports Commission, (NSC), Dr. Patrick Ekeji has called for stiffer sanctions for athletes found to have used performance enhancing substances to boost their careers.
While addressing the Nigerian athletes to the 12th IAAF World Championships at their Berlin Berlin Hotel camp at the weekend, the Director General said that despite the paucity of funds which hampered adequate preparations â€œ Nigeria was not prepared to engage in a â€œdo or die methods to win medals at all costs.â€
Dr. Ekeji therefore called on the leadership of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to punish all athletes confirmed to have used banned drugs to cheat others.
â€œAFN should sanction accordingly, any erring athlete found guilty of dope offence. Nigeria is not prepared to win tainted medals. Winning is not a do or die matter,â€ observed the former Green Eagles defender.
The NSC DG said further that henceforth, the welfare of the countryâ€™s athletes would be taken seriously while efforts would be made to ensure that any of them who qualify for competitions on the IAAF calendar gets training grants appropriately.
â€œRight now, we are working towards having two separate secretaries for the AFN. One of them will be concerned with the elite athletes while the other will handle junior athletes. Also, we are working towards introducing bonuses for different stages of qualifications for every international competition.â€
Dr. Ekeji while also thanking the AFN leadership for making it possible that Nigeria is represented at this edition of the Championships pledged to hold a reception for the athletes that made the country proud at the last Olympics in Beijing, China.