Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr Patrick Ekeji has warned Nigerian weightlifters preparing for the Olympics in London to stay out of drugs. Ekeji, who visited the Owerri camp of the Kenya bound Nigerian weightlifting team charged the athletes against the use of drugs as they gear up to do the country proud first at the African championships later this month and the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
Ekeji, who was accompanied by the president of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), Mazi Chimdi Ejiogu commended the athletes for remaining focused ahead of the African championships in Kenya and the big one in London. “The reports I am getting from your camp is to say the least encouraging. This has reflected in your performance so far. Your performance last year in South Africa at the Commonwealth meet was encouraging. In France, you didn’t do badly at all at the World Championship. I urge you to remain focused, but please and please, you must stay out of drugs,” Ekeji told the lifters.
Ekeji assured the athletes that the NSC will give them all the support they need to do the country proud at the Olympics, even as he disclosed that Nigeria will be fielding a full team of 15 weightlifters at the African championships billed for March 28 to April 4 in Nairobi, Kenya.
NWF boss, Ejiogu said the weightlifters are battle ready for the African championship which is the final round of the qualifiers for the Olympics. He said the country will score enough points that will see a good number of her lifters making it to London.
Ejiogu said the fact that the country will be going with a full team of eight male and seven female lifters would enhance the chances of qualifying for the Olympics. “In weightlifting, what we adopt is points scoring system and the more athletes a country fields, the more points she is likely going to score. I want to commend the NSC for endorsing our proposal to hit Kenya with a full team. We will definitely not fail the country,” Ejiogu said.