30th July, 2021
By Muhyideen Jimoh
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has dismissed reports that 10 Nigerian athletes were disqualified over drugs offences.
According to the agency, the ban of Nigerian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics had nothing to do with drugs, instead of with the non-completion of mandatory tests.
Mr Adeniyi Beyioku, Secretary-General of the federation, said this in a statement on Friday.
He described as misleading reports that they were banned, noting that their ineligibility was due to non-completion of their mandatory three Out-of-Competition Test (OCT) before the Tokyo Olympics.
Beyioku clarified, saying that the athletes had done nothing wrong to be so labelled.
‘AFN’s attention has been drawn to reports in some Nigerian newspapers that our athletes have been banned.
“This is far from the truth. The athletes were only declared ineligible to compete because they did not complete the three out-of-competition tests that would have made them eligible for only the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“While the Federation regrets the unfortunate incident, we however plead on behalf of the athletes, who have complained about the negative tag, that they are not banned from track and field as they have not violated any anti-doping rules,” he said.
The AFN scribe said the athletes are free to compete in other competitions after the Olympics.
“‘The athletes are free to compete in the many track meetings that will hold immediately after the Olympics across the globe and it will be inappropriate and unpatriotic to tag them as banned athletes.
“‘Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) did not use the word ‘banned’ in its press release naming 18 athletes from six countries who are ineligible to compete at this Olympics due to the OCT failure.
“Both the AIU and World Athletics usually, after all, anti-doping procedures have been concluded, state the duration of the ban or suspension slammed on any violator of the anti-doping rules.
“In the case of our athletes, they have not contravened any anti-doping rule and should not be tagged as one,” Beyioku added.