The Ministerial Committee set up to investigate doping allegations against the Vice President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Olamide George, has submitted its report to the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The report which came in two volumes was submitted following months of extensive investigation with the accused persons including several witnesses.
On the occasion, the Chairman of the Committee, Pius Oteh, thanked the Minister, Solomon Dalung for the objective and transparent manner in which the committee was encouraged to do its work.
“Upon our inauguration, the Minister declared publicly that his interest was not to persecute or intimidate any person, but to ensure that the appropriate facts were disclosed and justice was done to all parties.
“I can testify that this was the experience of the committee all through the duration of the assignment as we have reached our conclusions on the basis of facts before us, in clear conscience and towards the growth of sports in Nigeria.”
Oteh however harped on the need to build a sports image that seriously frowns at the use of drugs in sports and recommended unity in the Athletics Federation of Nigeria as being crucial to achieving this as well as a credible structure to tackle doping issues in the country.
Receiving the report, Solomon Dalung expressed the gratitude of the ministry for a job well done. The minister said he was compelled to set up the committee following allegations of a state cover up even after a previous Ministerial Committee was set up the accused athlete had served her ban.
“The petition alleged a state cover and in doping violations, when a state is accused of a cover, it means that the country involved is likely going to face international sanctions.
“The allegations suggested that Nigeria is involved in promoting doping violations by covering and also availing citizens of Nigeria the opportunity to be involved in the prohibited act. So the serious nature of allegations against Nigeria led to my insistence on constituting this committee.”
The Minister promised to study the report and implement recommendations by the committee immediately. “We will also ensure that the recommendations in the report which suggests that we transmit some of the recommendations are taken to the International bodies involved.
“It is only by so doing that we can be able to put the issue to rest and convince the international organizations that the issue has been dealt with while the Vice President of the Athletics Federation can now operate in his office freely without hindrance”.