The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has constituted a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding 10 athletes of Team Nigeria becoming ineligible to contest at the just concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
It will be recalled that Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent body created by World Athletics that manages all integrity issues – both doping and non-doping – revealed that a total of 18 athletes have been declared ineligible with Nigeria being the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes.
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Following their disqualification, Dare promised to probe the unfortunate development in a statement vowed to unravel the circumstances that led to the ‘avoidable’ disqualification of the athletes.
“Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, someone failed in their responsibility and as Minister, I bear the responsibility and brunt of the criticism.
“I have ordered a full investigation that will not only uncover what happened but will also, recommend a process where such lapses can never occur in the future and initiate leveraging compliance monitoring technology to guardrail this,” he said.
The committee of seven to investigate the development is chaired by Professor Ken Anugweje of the University of Port Harcourt, while other members are Dr. John Onyeudo, Director Sports Medicine in the Ministry; Femi Ajao of the Ministry’s Zonal office and Maria Wophil, of the Federation and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD) of the Ministry as Secretary.
Other members of the Committee are Dr. Abdulkadir Muazu, who is a former Director of Science at the National Sports Commission; DIG. Sani Mohammed, a former board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN); and Udo-Obong Enefiok, former athlete and Olympian.