Following the disqualification of some Nigerian athletes at the just concluded 2020 Olympics, the House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Hon. Sunday Dare, for explanations as to what happened in terms of preparedness of the athletes for the worldwide sports fiesta.
The investigations which will be launched soon, was unanimously adopted the members of the House during their Plenary on Wednesday under the title ” Need to Investigate Activities of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development on Failed Doping test by Nigerian Athletes at the Olympics Games in Tokyo”.
Speaking during the session, Mr. Babatunde Ayeni said that Nigeria has a good name at the Olympics in times past and Her outstanding performance in some events at the games has given the nation much respect from sports loving people around the globe.
The lawmaker while recalling the “Past Glories” of the Nigerian contingent at the Olympics like the Atlanta 96 Gold Medal winning “Dream Team ” as well Chioma Ajunwa’s exploits at the same games, lamented that the recent disqualification of some top members of the contingents to the Tokyo 2020 edition, did not just reduce Nigeria’s chances of repeating the same feat but also rubbed off badly on the image of the Nation.
While speaking on the banning of 10 Nigerian athletes from participating in the games by the Athletes Integrity Unit on July 20, 2021, Hon. Ayeni said that the highly rated athlete, Blessing Okagbare was disqualified for allegedly testing positive for human growth hormone even after coming tops at the women’s 100 meters heat.
In his words ” The House is concerned that despite the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests “.
He further said “The House is also aware that the allegation further affirmed that the affected athletes failed to comply with the rules requiring those from countries deemed to be at High risk of doping to undergo three no-notice -out -of -competition tests in a 10 months period leading up to a major event “.
With the concerns raised by Hon. Ayeni and some other members of the House of Reps. the Oyo State born Minister of Sports and Youth Development was called upon to appear before the committee on the compliance of Nigeria to regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and the Anti-doping arm, Athletics Integrity Unit, as soon as possible.