Daily Trust (Abuja)

6 July 2012

Nigeria: Don't Taint Your Medals With Drugs - Abdullahi Warns

Lagos — Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has warned the 41 athletes that departed Lagos for the Olympics Games in London to steer clear of doping during the games.

Abdullahi expressed this while wishing the athletes a successful outing in London at a send forth organised for them at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Lagos.

He expressed confidence that the athletes would come back to Nigeria with lots of medals, going by the dominance of Team Nigeria at the recently concluded African Senior Athletics Championship at Port Novo.

He commended them for the feat in Republic of Benin and tasked them to replicate the performance in London.

"I enjoin Nigerians to support you to enable you bring home more laurels," he said

The Minister asked Nigerians to stop gnashing of teeth over the non qualification of Nigeria football teams for the Olympics, stressing that even if they were there, they will only come back with one medal.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Director General of NSC, Dr. Patrick Ekeji disclosed that the country will field 8 sports apart from basketball which is still battling for the qualification ticket in far away Venezuela.

He said the decision to feature in eight sports was taken after considering where the country's strength lies at the games.

The team, he said is poise to do the country proud after going into closed door camping in countries like USA, London, Germany and South Korea.

Ekeji said what the athletes won at the African Athletic championship is an equivalent of what Super Eagles have done by winning the Nations Cup twice.

He explained that the athletes are in high spirit and rearing to go when he visited their various camps abroad.

The 41 athletes were later formally presented to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) President, Engineer Sani Ndanusa who promised that they are in safe hands.

The athletes and officials began to depart in batches last night with some scheduled to leave on Saturday.

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