BY JUDE OPARA, Abuja
It was a huge shock yesterday when it was revealed that no fewer than eight Nigerian athletes who participated at the last All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville have had their medals withdrawn after it was confirmed that they have tested positive to banned substances.
This revelation was made when the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung held a strategic meeting with board members of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) in Abuja. It was learnt that the samples of the players urine were taken at the end of the games by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) from where the said eight reportedly failed the dope test.
Dalung who confirmed the development equally regretted that the said eight medals have been threatened from the total number that was won at Congo Brazzaville.
“It us true that some Nigerian athletes tested positive to banned substances at the last All Africa Games. About five to eight medals have been indicted because of the development and that takes us to why we are meeting here with the NOC. We still want to intensify our advocacy on anti doping. The issue of doping is not always as we say it. Sometimes it could be from the food the athlete has taken or they may have taken some drugs without knowing the implications before the event. So what we are planning to do is to try to improve on our advocacy on anti doping,” the minister stated.
Some of the athletes who have equally been handed four year bans from any sporting activity include; Deborah Odeyemi, Chinazo Amadi, Samson Idiata in athletics, Sunday Eze Para athletics and Thomas Kure in Power lifting.
Nigeria placed second with 47 gold medals behind overall winners Egypt at the championship.