By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor
The Athletics Integrity Unit, (AIU), a disciplinary organ and integrity unit of World Athletics, responsible for anti-doping, have commended Nigeria on its commitment to rid the sport of doping incidents.
These commendations were made by the chairman of the AIU board, David Howman, who is pleased with the significant improvements recorded by the nation’s efforts to clean up the sport. The Trumpet Gathered
According to the report released by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Sunday, June 17, 2022, Howman acknowledged the improvements recorded by the nation in this regard but added that there is more work to be accomplished.
“I particularly commend the Nigerian team. It is amazing what can be achieved when the domestic authorities start taking anti-doping seriously,” Howman said.
“While there have clearly been positive steps across the board, there are still many improvements to be made in the application of the rule and we will continue to work with the Category A Federations to do so,” the AIU chairman added.
Nigeria is placed under Category A which is the lowest ranking of Federations and the athletes from countries in this category must have at least 3 Out of Competition Testings (OCTs), each test 3 weeks apart within the 10 months leading to a major international event like the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
AFN claimed that the insistence of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on stricter anti-doping measures and the increase in the number of tests by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has earned
Nigeria commendation from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Sports Minister Sunday Dare has been the driving force in the push to improve Nigeria’s anti-doping status and image.
“We cannot afford a repeat of the embarrassment we got in Tokyo where ten of our athletes were declared ineligible to compete on technical grounds as a result of the breach of the AIU rule,” Dare responded to
AIU’s commendation to affirm that the Sports Ministry is doing the right thing.
“We had to be proactive and put stricter measures in place, not minding the attacks and snide comments from certain quarters.
“This commendation shows we are doing the right thing. It will spur us on to continue to do all we can to improve our anti-doping status and image,” Dare reiterated.
Recall that at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, 10 out of Nigeria’s 23 athletes were barred from competing, owing to their failure to meet this AIU requirement (Rule 15 of the AIU framework) that was enforced in January 2019.
However, all 25 Nigerian athletes registered for the ongoing 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America were cleared to participate having met the requirement.
Also, from a meagre 26 tests conducted on Nigerian athletes in 2021, 157 tests have already been done in 2022.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is the special unit created by the international athletics body, World Athletics to oversee all issues relating to doping control among its members.
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