“They were busy fighting over Puma Contract” – Athlete Blessing Okagbare blast Nigeria’s athletics federation

Nigerian athlete Blessing Okagbare has said that the sport system in Nigeria is flawed and that athletes are always at the receiving end of the damages.

Lamenting that athletes are being neglected, Okagbare said those who are not passionate about sports should not handle the administrative positions. She said this after 10 Nigerian athletes were disqualified from competing in the Tokyo Olympics for failing to undergo mandatory tests ahead of the global sports event. (Read details).

The disqualification development was announced in a statement by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Wednesday. The affected athletes will not represent the country due to their failure to comply with the out of the competition testing (OCT) requirement.

“The Rule sets out minimum requirements for testing on the national teams of ‘Category A’ federations deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport,” the statement read.

The key requirement in Rule 15 is that an athlete from a ‘Category A’ country must undergo at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests (urine and blood) conducted no less than 3 weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event. Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games.

For the year 2021, the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations are Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine. Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes.”

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