The first vice-president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) under the Engr Ibrahim Gausa led board, Sunday Adeleye has faulted the sports ministry over the disqualification of 10 Nigerian athletes from the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.
It should be noted that the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent body created by World Athletics that manages all integrity issues – both doping and non-doping on Wednesday announced that, 10 Nigerian athletes out of 23 were ineligible to compete at the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games.
The former AFN technical director, Adeleye while speaking on 2020 Tokyo In 120, a sports program packaged by the LEADERSHIP Podcast Studio, said that the sports ministry was informed eight months ago, on the need for the country’s athletes to undergo the Out Of Competition Test (OCT) but the testing was not done before the world showpiece.
“The AFN under the leadership of Engr Ibrahim Gusau raise the alarm eight months ago to the sports ministry, we have all the documents to prove, but nothing was done about it, those athletes were medals hopeful.
“This has taken Nigerian athletics backward due to the negligence on the part of the leadership of the sports ministry, this international embarrassment should have been avoided if the sports ministry had taken the matter seriously.
“The dreams of the athletes getting to compete in their first Olympics has been shattered, which has affected Nigeria chances of winning medals at the Olympic because the morale of the rest athletes are down, it will take a miracle for Nigeria to win medals due to the conditions we have exposed our athletes to,” he said.
He however charged the 12 cleared athletes to remain focused and fight for a podium finish at the start of the track and field events later today.
The ineligible athletes, are African Record Holder (Women’s Discus) Chioma Onyekwere, Youth Olympics Champion, Rosemary Chukwuma, African Record Holder Triple Jump (Indoor) Ruth Usoro, African Record Holder Women’s 200m (Indoor)/ African Games Silver Medalist Favour Ofili.
Others are, African Record Holder (Women’s Hammer Throw) Annette Echikunwoke, African Games Bronze Medalist (Men’s 400m) Chidi Okezie, Knowledge Omovoh, Glory Patrick, Yinka Ajayi, and Tima Godbless.