Peter Oboh, the ex-British and Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Boxing champion, has said it’s sad and painful that over 10 Nigerian athletes have been disqualified from participating in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
While blaming the Sports Ministry and officials for negligence over the minimum numbers of necessary out-of-competition tests, Oboh also warned of the dire consequences of doping.
Recall that failure to undergo tests, results of some tests and flouting of competition rules have combined to see more than 10 Nigerian athletes disqualified from competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Reacting, Oboh, boxing champion-turned pastor, said: “It is very sad that 10 Nigerian athletes were disqualified from the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics over avoidable matters.
“While that disaster was sinking in, another big blow came in the form of Blessing Okagbare’s suspension over doping test, ending the Tokyo Games for the 2008 Olympics silver medalist.
“This is heartbreaking for Nigerians and the athletes, many of whom spent personal resources, while others decided to represent Nigeria ahead of other countries that wanted them. Our sports administrators must do better.
“However, sportsmen and women owe themselves the duty of knowing the rules and ensuring to stick by them. They should even enlighten ignorant government officials.
“These rules are not just for the games, but also for the health of the athletes. We must know that when it comes steroids in sports, especially at the highest levels, it’s very easy to get it in the system.
“So screening what an athlete eats and drinks at every point is important. It’s only when tests results make such revelations that people shout ‘thief’.”
Asked if there are side effects to drug use in sports, the cleric said: “An athlete can end up with serious health issues by the end of their carriers or when they have retired, specially damaged organs.
“It would profit athletes nothing to gain the whole world and not live long enough in health to enjoy it.”
Vanguard News Nigeria