Nigeria: AFN Apologises to President Buhari, Nigerians Over 'Banned 10'

The rings at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
2 August 2021

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Youth and Sports Minister, Sunday Dare and all Nigerians for the unsavoury event which led to the inability of 10 track and field athletes to compete at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In a statement issued yesterday by the federation and signed by its president, Tonobok Okowa, the track & field governing body in Nigeria insisted it was taking responsibility for the inaction of the immediate past board that led to the unfortunate suspending the athletes from the Games.

"As a new board, we have to take responsibility for the inaction of our predecessors and assure Nigerians that appropriate measures will always be taken at all times and in compliance with releveant World Athletics competition and anti-doping rules to protect our athletes," stressed Okowa.

Meanwhile, the AFN has announced a seven-man Medical and Anti-Doping Commission headed by Professor Ken Anugweje.

The national governing body said the announcement of the members of the new commission becomes very necessary as the AFN is determined to ensure Nigeria is removed from the unwanted categorisation as one of World Athletics member federations deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport.

"The commission has been charged with the responsibility of ensuring Nigeria is,within a reasonable period of time removed from the list of seven countries World Athletics and the Athletics Integrity Unit have named to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of athletics,' said Okowa.

"They are also to ensure appropriate anti-doping measures are in place in accordance with World Athletics anti-doping rules so that the federation can prevent a repeat of the disqulification of our athletes at global international competitions."

Others members of the commssion are Doctors Paul Onyido,Femi Ayorinde, Effi Usen and Bukola Bojuwoye as well as the technical director of the federation (yet to be appointed) while Inwang Israel Mfon will serve as the commission's secretary.

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