This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Asumnu Is Clean, Says AFN

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tuesday refuted claims in a section of the sporting press that sprinter, Gloria Asumnu, was one of the three top Nigeria athletes that tested positive to banned substances.

President of the AFN, Chief Solomon Ogba, said Tuesday that the clarification became necessary because of wild speculations about the three Nigerian athletes that failed the dope tests carried out at the Nigerian Olympic trials in Calabar last month.

"This clarification has become necessary because of the wrong impression it was creating in track & field circles. Despite our federation's appeal to journalists to exercise caution in handling the matter, because of the procedures involved, a section of the sporting press has gone to town to speculate those they believed are involved. For the record, we want to say here that Gloria Asumnu is not one of the three athletes," observed the AFN chief Tuesday in a statement.

Ogba insisted that once the final result of the dope carried out on Nigerian athletes is ready, "we are going to address the media on it and athletes found to have run foul of the law on dope would be made to face the consequences of their actions. This present board has zero tolerance for dope and will do everything possible to ensure that we compete fair and square at the London Games without bringing any embarrassment to Nigeria."

Until the final result of the dope test, the AFN chief urged the media to exercise caution in handling the issue.

"Any of the athletes' that is not involved in the dope failure and are scandalised in the media have every right to seek redress in court."

Last week, the AFN announced the dropping of three athletes from the London Games because they tested positive to banned drugs. The federation had insisted that those involved were entitled to fair hearing and possibly going for the testing of their 'B' sample to authenticate the result of the tests carried out in Calabar.

Asumnu's personal American coach, Garfiel Ellenwood, was equally dropped not because he was involved in any dope with any of Nigerian athletes but because he was once punished for a violation in his previous employment.

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