Former Nigerian international athlete and now coach, Uchenna Emedolu has revealed how he was dragged into running the 4x100m relay at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where he allegedly dropped the baton deliberately.
•Uchenna EmedoluEmedolu was banned from the national team by the National Sports Commission director-general last week for that incident, which happened two years ago. This is even as the Abuja 2003 All African Games 200m gold medalist denied sabotaging Nigeria as claimed.
“I was not primed to run the relay, I was only there in Beijing to be with the boys I’m training. It was when Olusoji Fasuba was injured that I was drafted into the team.
“It is not true I drop the relay baton in Beijing. How I could have paid my way to the Games only sabotage the team? Some of the team members are the guys that I trained, what example would I be setting for them by dropping the baton?
“ I’m just being victimised,” said the former athlete who won several laurels for Nigeria.
He added that he was devastated by the bad image he has been given by the NSC, despite the fact the he did quite a lot as an athlete and coach for Nigeria.
“I’m heart broken with the kind of treatment meted to me. I have won several medals for Nigeria, and even as we are talking, the former President Olusegun Obasanjo made some promises to me in 2002 when I won the world cup in athletics, till now those promises are yet to be fulfilled.
“I have spent my money training athletes like Obinna Metu, Onyabor Nworgu, Joy Eze and even recently I worked with Ogho-Oghene Egwero, thankfully he did his personal best at the ECOWAS Games.
“On my way to Abuja for the Games. My car somersaulted I almost lost my life only for me to get this kind of treatment.
“For now I want to lie low and observe the situation. But if I do leave coaching Nigeria will suffer for it, this is because I have it im my mind to produce quality athletes.”