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Tokyo Olympics: 10 Nigerian Athletes Banned

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Ten Nigerian athletes banned from participating in Tokyo OlympicsBy Uche Amunike
Nigeria has slim chances of winning medals at the Tokyo Olympics, as 10 of the country’s athletes have been declared ineligible to be a part of the competition.
This revelation was made in a statement released by the Athletics Integrity Unit, (AIU), an independent body created by World Athletics and which primarily manages all integrity issues – both doping and non- doping, stating that a total of 18 athletes have been declared ineligible.
The most affected country is Nigeria as they did not meet up with the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for ten of the athletes.
The AIU explained that under the framework of Rule 15 governing National Federation Anti-doping obligations which came into force in January 2019, National federations accountable for ensuring appropriate anti-doping measures are in place in their respective jurisdictions.
Also, the rule sets out minimum requirements for testing for the national teams of ‘Category A’ federations that have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport.
The major requirements in Rule 15 is that an athlete from a Category A country must go through at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests (Urine and Blood) conducted not less than three weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event.
That is when they become eligible to represent the national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games.
The countries have been identified in the year 2021 as ‘Category A’ National Federations. They are Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Ukraine.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria which has faced needless crises in the last 14 months is notably highly culpable in this regard.
‘National Federations must play their parts in supporting anti-doping efforts. The eligibility rules for athletes from ‘Category A’ countries are very clear and compliance is essential for cementing the required long-term changes and ensuring a level playing field for clean athletes,’ said David Howman, Chair of the AIU Board.
‘I must underline that there have been significant improvements in anti-doping efforts in most ‘Category A’ countries thanks to this rule. It is clear that the relevant National Federations in conjunction with their NADOs have started to take their testing responsibilities seriously, and I thank them for their efforts, but there remains a long way to go in some circumstances,’ he added.
Nigeria was included in ‘Category A’ at the beginning of 2020 after a continued period of weak testing levels.
List of banned athletes had not been provided as at the time of filing this report, but findings show that the only Nigerian track and field athletes eligible to compete in Tokyo are Enoch Adegoke, Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, Patience Okon- George, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Samson Nathaniel, Grace Nwokocha, Divine Oduduru, Emmanuel Ojeli, Blessing Okagbare and Nse Uko, as their names were listed on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics portal.
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