24th February, 2011
Former national U-20 Discus record holder, Abigail Daniel, has said that the ban on athletes for life by the National Sports Commission, NSC, will not stop the use of drugs by Nigerian athletes.
Nigeriasportnews.com reports that the Sports Ministry, in its bid to curb the use of drugs by athletes, recently came out with a strong punitiveÂ measureby banning for life any Nigerian athlete found to have taken performance enhancing drugs during competitions.
But Daniel, while maintaining that drug taking by athletes is totally wrong, stressed that banningÂ them for life will not do any good to Nigerian sports.
â€œThe ban will not do any good but harm to the Nigerian sports because without the athletes performing in the local and international events, there will be no Sport Ministry.
â€œLet us all face the fact; lack of proper orientation is the cause of all the troubles our athletes are facing today.
â€œOur athletes need to be educated on what to use and what not to use. This will prevent them from making mistake that will cause them and the country international embarrassment.
She added that: â€œIn the developed country today, their athletes are being monitored in other to avoid anyÂ mistake that willÂ cause embarrassment to the country.â€
Another athlete, Olatunji Olawale, said: â€œThe ban will not stop them. It can just be likened to cutting off the head as a cure for headache. The reason athletes indulge inÂ banned drugs should be addressed.
â€œThe problem is caused by lack of proper orientation, starting from the coaches to the officials at various federations that expect excellent performance from athletes, without putting in place machinery that will aid themâ€.
Foremost Nigerian Athletic writer, Benjamin Efe, maintained it is not the responsibility of any individual to ban athletes thatÂ fail dope test. He stressed that the sports governing body is responsible and there are procedures to be followed before the banÂ becomes effective.
â€œOur sports administrators are illiterates. I say this because as a country, you have no authority to ban any athlete who fails dope test, it is the job of the sportâ€™s governing body and there are laid down procedures,â€ he said.