THE Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has taken responsibility for the disqualification of 10 Nigerian athletes on Wednesday from the ongoing Olympic Games holding in Tokyo, Japan.
In a statement released on Thursday, the AFN explained that although all participating athletes had taken the doping test in compliance with the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-doping Rules, some of the tests were not recognised.
“All our athletes resident in Nigeria and who qualified for the Olympic Games completed the three mandatory tests. Most of our top athletes resident in the USA also completed their tests.
“However, a few athletes in the American collegiate system were tested, but those tests were deemed not to have complied with WADA (world anti-doping agency) sample collection and analysis standards,” the AFN said.
It added: “The AFN bears responsibility for any lapses that may have occurred during the process and reassures Nigerians that our performances (at Tokyo Olympics) will not be negatively impacted”.
On its part, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development expressed regret at the sad occurrence but clarified that the 10 disqualified athletes did not test positive for any banned substance, but rather did not meet up with the last of the 3 out-of-competition tests due to the aforementioned reason.
“The 10 athletes are principally alternate and foreign students athletes, whose tests did not meet with WADA sample collection and analysis standards,” the statement signed by the Permanent Secretary and Chef de Mission for Team Nigeria Nebelosa Anako stated.
Anako assured all necessary efforts were made to bring the athletes to date with compliance to the WADA regulations and the remaining 12 top Track and Field athletes have been cleared to complete in the Games.
“The situation is being managed by the Ministry and the AFN which have requested all athletes in the Games Village to remain focused to doing our motherland proud,” the statement added.
The Ministry also commended the decision of the AFN to appoint Ken Anugweje as Head of its Medical and Anti-Doping Commission.