13th October, 2010
It has been an endless weeping and gnashing of teeth for Damola Osayemi, the NigerianÂ athlete, who failed a dope test and had the women’s 100m gold medal she won at the DelhiÂ 2010 Commonwealth Games withdrawn by the Local Organising Committee, LOC.
â€œOsayemi has been down in tears. Sheâ€™s shattered and not moving freely in camp since theÂ result of a dope test in India,â€ said Tony Ubani, the new Public Relations Officer of theÂ Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, while recounting the athleteâ€™s ordeal at the Games.
Although, Osayemi, the womenâ€™s 100 gold medalist in New Delhi, asked for her â€œBâ€™â€™ sampleÂ to be tested after Mondayâ€™s announcement that her initial sample was positive for aÂ stimulant, but the LOC stripped her of the medal.
Reports from Team Nigeria’s camp in Delhi early today revealed that Osayemi wasÂ struggling to register her innocence of any drug use.
Ubani disclosed that the embattled athlete was seen in a very terrible mood when theÂ other athletes were flaunting their medals, while her â€˜preciousâ€™ gold medal wasÂ retrieved.
The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, recently loosened the classification ofÂ Methylexanemine, the stimulant found in Osayemiâ€™s system for next year to the â€œspecifiedÂ stimulantâ€ list, which covers drugs that are more susceptible to inadvertent use and canÂ carry reduced penalties.
Sanctions for use of the drug can be reduced if athletes can prove they did not intend toÂ enhance performance but penalties can range from a warning to a two-year ban.
WADA said Methylexanemine was sold as a medicine until the early 1970s and has nowÂ reappeared in some nutritional supplements and cooking oils.
The fate of Samuel Okon, the second Nigerian hurdler at the Commonwealth Games, who alsoÂ failed a dope test for the same banned substance is still being sorted out.
As the cases of the NigeriansÂ made the headlines, an Indian athlete also joined the drugÂ cheats’ list. The athlete, Yadav tested positive for the banned steroid Nandrolone.
The Commonwealth Games Federation said Yadav, who was sixth in the womenâ€™s 20-kilometerÂ walk on Saturday, has been provisionally suspended from the event.
Yadav could be banned for two years if found guilty.
Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell said more than 1,300 doping samplesÂ had been collected so far at the games.
â€œEveryone would concede that to have three doping cases of those 1,300 tests is not a badÂ record,â€ Fennell said. â€œAnd two of those have been concluded for substances that areÂ considered by many to be not in the serious area of doping activity, which is stimulants.Â This new case has not been heard and I would not want to make any comments on that.â€
The World Anti-Doping Agency recently loosened the classification of MethylhexaneamineÂ for next year to the â€œspecified stimulantâ€ list, which covers drugs that are moreÂ susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties. Sanctions for use of theÂ drug can be reduced if athletes can prove they did not intend to enhance performance.Â Penalties can range from a warning to a two-year ban.
WADA said Methylhexaneamine was sold as a medicine until the early 1970s and has nowÂ reappeared in some nutritional supplements and cooking oils
Meanwhile, NAN reported todayÂ that three Nigerians yesterday made a historic medal haul,Â clinching the gold, silver and bronze medals in the female event of Para-sportÂ Powerlifting.
Esther Onyema, Ganiyatu Onaolapo and Osamwenyobor Arasomwan respectively securedÂ victories in the eventâ€™s Open Press womenâ€™s final.
Onyema claimed gold with a total of 148.1 kg; Onaolapo won silver with 139.3kg whileÂ Arasomwan snatched bronze with 124.6kg.
The medals have now increased the countryâ€™s medals to 11 gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze,Â bringing the total to 34.
It is Nigeriaâ€™s first medal sweep across any Commonwealth Games, and took her overallÂ weightlifting medal tally in Delhi to 11.
It will be recalled that 17-year-old Nigerian Augustina Nwaokolo won the first gold ofÂ the 19th Commonwealth Games in weightlifting.