23rd May, 2012
Nigerian athletes to this year’s Olympic Games will be camped at the University of Surrey in London, but before embarking on the trip, they will face series of drug tests so that they will not tarnish the image of the country.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Ministerial Advisory and Coordinating Committee for Nigeria 2012 Olympics participation, Alhassan Yakmut, who revealed that Team Nigerian would move to the camp on 18 July, 24 hours to the opening of the Games Village. But he hinted that dope tests will be conducted on each athlete.
Yakmut said that the National Sports Commission, NSC, is leaving no stone unturned in fighting against drug users, a situation that almost tarnished Nigeria’s image at the last Commonwealth Games held in India, where three Nigerian athletes failed dope test.
It will also be recalled that former Sports Minister and Chairman, National Sports Commission, NSC, Hon. Isa Ibrahim Bio, had in year 2010 revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan approved the sum of N150 million to set up a dope-testing laboratory in Abuja and the National Anti Doping Organisation, NADO. Bio said appropriate disciplinary measures would be taken against Nigerian athletes that are found guilty, if they test positive to drugs, henceforth.
The minister said beyond the International Association of Athletics Federation, IAAF sanction on any defaulting athlete, the guilty ones would still have to face the wrath of the country and that they might end up being banned from representing Nigeria in sporting events.
Not less than 48 athletes made up of 26 males and 22 females have so far secured qualification tickets for Team Nigeria at the London Games. The sports are athletics, canoeing, table tennis, wrestling, weightlifting, Taekwondo and boxing.