A former chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Hon. Godfrey Ali Gaiya has blamed the disqualification of Team Nigerian athletes from competing in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on the needless power tussle between the Sports Ministry and the Engineer Ibrahim Shehu Gusau led faction of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
The 10 athletes have been disqualified from representing Nigeria at Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-doping Rules.
Reacting to the sad development which has come as a rude shock to many Nigerians, the former lawmaker in a chat with Trust Sports blamed the ministry, the NOC and medical department for the ordeal of the athletes.
Hon. Gaiya also blamed it on what he described as inefficiency on the part of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) and the medical department in the Sports Ministry.
“It is very unfortunate and we are used to taking things lightly and carelessly. Unfortunately, we are in a country that is trivial in whatever they do. We were non-challant not to have conducted the necessary tests as required. I think the ministry of sports and NOC as well as the department of sports medicine must be held responsible.
“When preparing for major competitions, you are not talking about the level of performance but fitness and health situations before and after to ensure the athletes have not taken any banned substance.
“There is no harmony between the ministry and federations and we can even see factional leadership in the federation where one is holding onto athletes and the other holding on to kits,” he concluded.