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Nigeria Intensifies Campaign To Tackle Doping In Sports



By Salifu Usman, Abuja
 As cases of high profile international doping in sports persists, Nigeria’s ministry of youth and sports development, has stepped up campaign to educate presidents and secretaries of sports federations on the need to promote and sustain value-based anti-doping culture, dope-free sports, and win clean.
Since 2002 when official documentation of drug testing commenced in Nigeria, about 100 Nigerian athletes have tested positive for doping.
Declaring a two day anti-doping seminar for presidents and secretaries of sports federations in Abuja, yesterday, Minister of youth and sports development, Barr Solomon Dalung, described the seminar as a concerted effort in furtherance of Nigeria’s pursuit of a full Code compliance status.
He said  it is one of many preventing anti-doping measures that are strongly advocated by World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).
“The key criteria for measuring a state party’s WADA Code compliance is the establishment of a National Anti-doping Organisation (NADO) as an independent entity with statutory backing.
“While the National Anti-doping Committee (NADC) remains the WADA approved interim NADO, much effort has been made to progress it into a Code compliant NADO. Indeed, a strong and viable NADO is the key to ensuring a coordinated approach to our fight against doping in sports within our borders.
“This seminar is a concerted effort in furtherance of our pursuit of a full Code compliance status. Basically, information-education initiatives like this seminar are also long-term measures that play a more central role in creating strong anti-doping cultures and practice of dope-free sports in line with ethical principles in the country.”
He said doping does not only have the potential to destroy the intrinsic values of sports, its adverse health consequences on the larger youth population that in sports, would create an unwanted negative social impact, and implored stakeholders to give due attention to anti-doping and work in concert to tackle doping in sports.
Azman Airline backs Match4IDPs
 Azman Air Services Limited has thrown its weight behind the forthcoming charity match between African legends and Kano Pillars football club for Internally Displaced persons in the country.
The company’s managing Director, Alhaji Faidal Abdulmunaf, said in Kano that the organisation was happy to be associated with such project aimed to create awareness on the plight of the IDPs.
“We are happy to be part of this historic event that is not just scheduled to improve the lives of individual in the IDPs camp but to also put Kano State on the world map,” Abdulmunaf said.
The managing director, who alongside one of his son, Alhaji Muhammad Hadi, added that it was a great honour for them to see Kano  hosting the event..
“We are hoping that the business communities in the state and other part of Nigeria support the Match4IDPs.  This charity event is more than a match. It’s also an opportunity to showcase Kano State, the business opportunity and the rich culture of the city,” he added.
Ms. Abi Goodman the initiator and the chief coordinator of Match4IDPs,  said the match which will take place on December 14, 2017 inside the  Sani Abacha Stadium.
The match  will see the likes of  El-Hadji Diouf, Mohamammed Kallon, Nwankwo Kanu and Mutiu Adepoju trade tackles with the Rabiu Ali-led former Nigeria league champions.
Meanwhile home based Super Eagles midfielder; Rabiu Ali has said the match will afford the younger stars, the opportunity to teach the legends the modern techniques in football artistry.
“I watched some of the legends growing up in the ancient city of Kano on television and I know we have the squad that will play to thrill the fans. I know the importance of the match and I pray the efforts yields the needed dividends for the IDPs,” Ali said.
Commonwealth Games: Team Nigeria National Open Trial Camp Begins
The first phase of the national open trials for Team Nigeria, as part of the preparations ahead of the 21st Commonwealth Games, scheduled for Gold Coast, Australia is set  to commence in Abuja and Lagos tomorrowDecember 7 and Friday, December 8, 2017 respectively.
While athletes in athletics, para-athletics and weightlifting would converge in Abuja, their counterparts in boxing, table tennis and para-table tennis will be storming Lagos for the same two days open trials.
   According to the Team Nigeria programme scheduled released by director, Federations and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD), Mrs Tayo Oreweme, the second phase of the national open trials for basketball and para-power-lifting will hold December 14 and 15 in Lagos.
The release also fixed the first phase of local camping programme as from December 17, 2017 to January 16, 2018, while the second phase will hold from January 17 to February 16, 2018 just as the third phase and final selection of the local camping programme has been scheduled hold from February 18 to 28, 2018 in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
The FEAD director added; “though Federations like Weightlifting had participated in a qualifying Championship in Entebbe, Uganda in October, this year same way National Wrestling Championships/ Trials took place in Port Harcourt for Wrestlers last month, the National Open Trials for other Federations become important as the Ministry is looking for Athletes that will make Nigeria proud in Australia in March, next year during the Commonwealth Games.
“Dope tests will also be carried out on the athletes during the two day National Open Trials in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt as well as Out-of-Competition Dope tests before the third phase of Local Camping which will serve as final selection on 17th of February, 2018.”
She, however, urged affected federations to assist in selecting the best for the country without any favouritism.

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