Nigerian Government orders all athletes to undergo drugs tests before Birmingham 2022

Nigerian Government orders all athletes to undergo drugs tests before Birmingham 2022
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The Nigerian Government has ordered that all of the country’s athletes be drugs tested before they depart for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which are due to start in Birmingham next month, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the scandal at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.  

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare announced the directive at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja during a meeting with stakeholders of Nigeria’s team.

Dare warned that Nigeria will not hesitate to drop any athlete who attempts to dope after sprinter Blessing Okagbare was banned from competition for 10 years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for three anti-doping offences which prevented her from taking part in the re-arranged Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

“We will prefer to come back from the Games without medals rather than being embarrassed a second time, there must be no exceptions,” said Dare, as reported by the Premium Times.

With fewer than two months remaining until Birmingham 2022 is due to open on July 28, Dare revealed that the Ministry is working closely with the Nigerian Olympic Committee to ensure that the delegation’s accommodation, testing, ticketing, and kits are taken care of in good time.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria President Tonobok Okowa has also spoken of his determination to ensure there is no repeat of previous doping failures.

As well as Okagbare’s offence, the organisation had to apologise during last year’s Olympics as 10 of its athletes were declared ineligible to compete after the AIU ruled that they were not tested rigorously enough in the run-up to the Games.

Nigeria has participated at 14 Commonwealth Games since making its debut at Auckland 1950.

Nigeria is set to take approximately 100 athletes in judo, athletics, boxing, weightlifting, table tennis, wrestling, Para table tennis, Para-athletics, and Para-powerlifting to the English city.

The nation has achieved 236 medals, including 70 golds, 75 silvers and 91 bronzes.

Okagbare won the 100 and 200 metres at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, along with a silver in the 4x100m relay. 

She was also a member of the 4x100m relay team that won the bronze medals at Gold Coast 2018. 

At Gold Coast 2018, Nigeria overall won nine gold, nine silver and six bronze medals with Suwaibidu Galadima winning the only title on the athletics track with 100m T47 gold.

-insidethegames

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