The Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) on Wednesday banned Bisola Asaju of Team Kwara from the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos and subsequent Games for cheating.
Ranti Lajide, an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) certified umpire, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Asaju was ineligible to participate in the Games, having featured in three past editions.
Lajide, who is officiating in the table tennis event, said the NTTF had vowed to disqualify any player found violating the rules of the NSF.
"The player was trying to be faster than her shadow, but the NTTF is very particular about such persons and once we identify them, he or she is automatically disqualified," he said.
Lajide said that such a tough step would discourage others from getting involved in such, because the festival was designed for talent discovery.
"We cannot allow athletes who have had their times at previous Games to deny upcoming talents from showing their skills, so we have to put a stop to it," he added.
Also speaking to NAN, ACP Anderson Bankole, expressed satisfaction with the performances of players at the festival and described them as the hope of tomorrow.
Bankole, an NTTF board member, said that "I am highly impressed with the brilliant performances of the athletes and we are actually identifying talents as the competition progresses,"
He said that coaches had more work to do so that the future of identified talents could be tailored in line with the techniques of the ping-pong game.
The NTTF board member also said that the federation was committed to developing table tennis at the grassroots. NAN