13 Nigerian athletes left home due to missed doping tests

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Thirteen Nigerian athletes have been left home for missing doping tests as the team travels to Mauritius to compete in the African Athletics Championships. The championships serve as a qualifying meet for this summer’s World Championships in Athletics which will be held in Eugene, Oregon, beginning July 15.

A team manager said The Guardian Shortly before their departure, among the athletes dropped out were high jumper Aya David, long jumper Tobechukwu Emmanuel, Fadekemi Olude (10km walk) and Osaretin Joy Usunbon (4x400m).

This is not the first time Nigerian athletes have violated doping control. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has ruled that some competitors will not be eligible for the Tokyo Olympics due to similar non-compliance with out-of-competition doping tests prior to the Games.

Okagbar Blessing

The IAU was quoted at the time as saying, “Nigeria is the worst affected country, failing to meet the minimum testing requirements under the 15 in 10 athlete rule. Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 after a continued period of low national testing levels. »

And then there was the massive 10-year doping ban imposed on sprinter Blessing Okagbare in February this year.

Okagbare was given the doping ban by the Disciplinary Tribunal. According to the AIU, she was sentenced to five years for testing positive for a number of banned substances and an additional five years for failing to cooperate with the AIU investigation.

“We welcome the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal; a 10-year ban is a strong message against intentional and coordinated attempts to cheat at the highest level of our sport. This is a result that was driven by our targeted intelligence-based testing as well as our commitment to investigating the circumstances behind a positive test,” said Brett Clothier, Head of AIU.

The issue of compliance apparently exists not only at the athlete level, but with the Nigerian Federation. Apparently the country’s athletes weren’t tested enough times ahead of the Tokyo Games. The 10 (out of 23) athletes who were already in the Olympic Village protested, but to no avail.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) took responsibility for the halt in testing, but that was not enough to get the affected athletes reinstated.

Nigeria has a history of sprinters and field event athletes testing positive for the banned stimulants and anabolic steroids stanozolol and methenolone as well as testosterone dating back to the mid-1990s.

A few athletes currently suspended…

Tosin Adeloye tested positive for the anabolic steroid methenolone at the Lagos National Sports Festival in December 2012, aged 16. Adeloye was subsequently banned from sport for two years. The ban ended on January 6, 2015. She was caught using exogenous steroids a second time after serving her suspension. His second suspension is in place in July 2023.

Henry Azike was a sprinter who was banned for life after testing positive for NR-AAF-Methenolone a second time. His infraction date was December 5, 2012.

Vivian Chukwuemeka, before her lifetime ban, was one of the all-time greats in the shot put. His mark of 18.43m set almost 20 years ago has not been matched by anyone on the continent. His crime: stanozolol.

Glory Onome Nathaniel, who specialized in the 400m hurdles event, at 26, tested positive for the presence of stanozolol and its metabolites in 2018.

Tega Odele, a 26-year-old 200m specialist failed a doping test on the anabolic steroid methenolone in 2019.

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