Nigeria: Olympics - Disqualified Nigerian Athletes Protest in Tokyo

The rings at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The athletes say they are suffering from the negligence of the Nigerian sports authorities.

While other countries are celebrating heroic feats and medals in Tokyo, Team Nigeria's situation is different as the athletes are protesting the 'shame' brought upon the country by negligent sports administrators.

PREMIUM TIMES reported on Wednesday how 10 of the country's athletes were disqualified from taking part in the Olympic Games due to their failure to undertake the mandatory three out-of-competition tests expected of athletes taking part in a competition of this magnitude.

Rather than take full responsibility for their failings, the Sports Ministry labelled those affected as 'alternate and foreign students athletes, whose tests did not meet with sample collection and analysis standards'.

Anger, pain

This has not gone down well with the affected athletes who then staged a protest to register their displeasure.

The Athletic Federation of Nigeria, (AFN); the ministry of youth and sports development and the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC are all complicit in this national embarrassment brought on Nigeria.

These bodies were saddled with ensuring that the athletes affected undergo the tests in the build-up to the Olympics as prescribed by the World Athletics rules.

Protest

During Friday's protest, the athletes carried various placards with inscriptions such as "We are not just alternate but are potential medalists", "All we wanted to do is to compete," "Why should we suffer for someone else's negligence?"

Meanwhile, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Tonobok Okowa, has appointed Ken Anugweje as the Head of the Medical and Anti Doping Commission of the Federation.

This step is coming on the heels of the Athletics Integrity Unit's decision to disqualify the 10 Nigerian athletes from competing at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics due to uncompleted Out of Competition Tests (OCTs).

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