Following the declaration of 10 Nigerian athletes ineligible for the Olympics by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) over the Out-of-Competition Testing (OCT), the Nigeria’s Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has urged the rest of Team Nigeria’s athletes in the Olympics Village to remain focused on doing the country proud at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Permanent Secretary and Chef de Mission of Team Nigeria to Tokyo Games, Nebelosa Anako, in a press statement issued in Tokyo on Thursday, regretted that the unfortunate development of 10 Nigerian Track and Field athletes not meeting the testing conditions of the AIU in the run-up to Tokyo 2020 Games.
He said the situation is being managed in collaboration with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and urged athletes at the Games Village to remain focused on doing their motherland proud.
Anako revealed that the 10 athletes were not test positive for any banned substance, but alternate and foreign student’s athletes, whose tests did not meet with WADA sample collection and analysis standards.
He applauded the decision of the AFN to appoint Prof. Ken Anugweje as head of its Medical and Anti-doping Commission.
The AIU on Wednesday banned 20 athletes from competing in the Tokyo Olympics due to anti-doping rules.
The AIU’s list which did not identify the athletes by name — includes 10 athletes from Nigeria, three from Belarus, one from Ethiopia, two from Kenya, one from Morocco and three from Ukraine.
But Ese Brume, a bronze medalist in the women’s long jump at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Blessing Okagbare who is making her fourth appearance at the Olympics, Tobi Amusan ranked number four in the 100m hurdles and Grace Nwokocha, Nigeria-based sensation who clocked 11.09 seconds in March at the MOC Grand Prix in Lagos to seal her qualification for the Tokyo Games were not among the Nigerians ruled out of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Also cleared to contest are the trio of Divine Oduduru, Enoch Adegoke and Ushoritse Itshekiri who will be competing in the men’s 100m while Oduduru will also race in the 200m, an event he holds the national record of 19.73 seconds which he set two years ago in Austin, Texas in the USA to win the NCAA gold.