Osayemi In Tears, LOC Withdraws Her Gold Medal, Indian Also Fails Dope Test

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It has been an endless weeping and gnashing of teeth for Damola Osayemi, the Nigerian  athlete, who failed a dope test and had the women’s 100m gold medal she won at the Delhi  2010 Commonwealth Games withdrawn by the Local Organising Committee, LOC.

“Osayemi has been down in tears. She’s shattered and not moving freely in camp since the  result of a dope test in India,” said Tony Ubani, the new Public Relations Officer of the  Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, while recounting the athlete’s ordeal at the Games.

Although, Osayemi, the women’s 100 gold medalist in New Delhi, asked for her “B’’ sample  to be tested after Monday’s announcement that her initial sample was positive for a  stimulant, but the LOC stripped her of the medal.

Reports from Team Nigeria’s camp in Delhi early today revealed that Osayemi was  struggling to register her innocence of any drug use.

Ubani disclosed that the embattled athlete was seen in a very terrible mood when the  other athletes were flaunting their medals, while her ‘precious’ gold medal was  retrieved.

The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, recently loosened the classification of  Methylexanemine, the stimulant found in Osayemi’s system for next year to the “specified  stimulant” list, which covers drugs that are more susceptible to inadvertent use and can  carry reduced penalties.

Sanctions for use of the drug can be reduced if athletes can prove they did not intend to  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 now  reappeared in some nutritional supplements and cooking oils.

The fate of Samuel Okon, the second Nigerian hurdler at the Commonwealth Games, who also  failed a dope test for the same banned substance is still being sorted out.

As the cases of the Nigerians  made the headlines, an Indian athlete also joined the drug  cheats’ list. The athlete, Yadav tested positive for the banned steroid Nandrolone.

The Commonwealth Games Federation said Yadav, who was sixth in the women’s 20-kilometer  walk on Saturday, has been provisionally suspended from the event.

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Yadav could be banned for two years if found guilty.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell said more than 1,300 doping samples  had been collected so far at the games.

“Everyone would concede that to have three doping cases of those 1,300 tests is not a bad  record,” Fennell said. “And two of those have been concluded for substances that are  considered by many to be not in the serious area of doping activity, which is stimulants.  This new case has not been heard and I would not want to make any comments on that.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency recently loosened the classification of Methylhexaneamine  for next year to the “specified stimulant” list, which covers drugs that are more  susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties. Sanctions for use of the  drug can be reduced if athletes can prove they did not intend to enhance performance.  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 now  reappeared in some nutritional supplements and cooking oils

Meanwhile, NAN reported today  that three Nigerians yesterday made a historic medal haul,  clinching the gold, silver and bronze medals in the female event of Para-sport  Powerlifting.

Esther Onyema, Ganiyatu Onaolapo and Osamwenyobor Arasomwan respectively secured  victories in the event’s Open Press women’s final.

Onyema claimed gold with a total of 148.1 kg; Onaolapo won silver with 139.3kg while  Arasomwan snatched bronze with 124.6kg.

The medals have now increased the country’s medals to 11 gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze,  bringing the total to 34.

It is Nigeria’s first medal sweep across any Commonwealth Games, and took her overall  weightlifting medal tally in Delhi to 11.

It will be recalled that 17-year-old Nigerian Augustina Nwaokolo won the first gold of  the 19th Commonwealth Games in weightlifting.

—Tunde Oyedele