Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi and NOC President, Sani M. Ndanusa have hailed the decision by the International Olympic Committee to officially award Nigeria the Sydney 2000 4x400m relay gold.
Mallam Abdulahi stated that Nigeria deserves the medal after the USA team that originally won the gold was stripped because of doping violations.
“ I do send my hearty congratulations to the team and wish our contingent to the London 2012 Olympics success,” said Mallam Abdulahi through his Press Secretary, Julius Ogunro.
A member of the quartet, Clement Chukwu also expressed satisfaction with the decision.
The IOC had ruled in 2008 that the American quartet stood disqualified after a member of the their quartet Antonio Pettigrew confessed to dope usage.
Chukwu urged the IOC to release the medal last year, but administrative bottle necks prevented the Nigerian quartet featuring Chukwu, Jude Monye, late Sunday Bada and Enefiok Udo-Obong from getting the medal.
“It is a good development. At least we will have something of real value to show our children for all our scarifies in sports,” said the USA based athlete.
In Sydney the Nigerian quartet anchored by Odo-obong put up a good showing to clinch the silver behind the American team featuring world record holder, Michael Johnson.
Nigeria are now elevated to title winners with Jamaica taking silver and the Bahamas the bronze.
“Pettigrew was disqualified in August 2008 but the Executive Board delayed a decision on reallocation until it had received information stemming from investigations into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) sports-doping scandal,” an IOC statement read.