The disqualification happened because the body responsible for testing athletes in Nigeria did not do that.
With every hope of a medal diminishing by each day, Team Nigeria has suffered another setback at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
10 Nigerian Track and Field athletes will not be competing in any athletics event when it commences on Friday, July 30, 2021, because of a non-compliance with the Out of Competition Testing (OCT) requirement.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), a unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that was founded in April 2017 to combat doping in the sport of athletics, released a statement on Wednesday, July 28 to announce that 18 athletes from the final entry for the Tokyo Olympic Games are not eligible to compete because the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules were not met by ‘Category A’ Federations.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), the body that governs athletics in Nigeria, falls under the ‘Category A’ federations and has the most affected athletes.
According to the AIU, these disqualifications were because the athletes did not meet a rule that sets out the minimum requirements for testing on the national teams of ‘Category A’ federations.
The rule states that athletes from ‘Category A’ countries must undergo at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests (urine and blood) conducted no less than three weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event.
“Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games,” AIU said in the statement.
The AFN, however, failed to conduct these tests for its athletes, which has led to his unfortunate development.
Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels.
Nigeria initially had 23 athletes for the Track and Field Events of the Olympics. Still, only 11 Nigerian athletes are on the entry list for Athletics at the Games, including popular names like Divine Oduduru, Blessing Okagbare and Brume Ese.
Nigeria has only two, each currently listed for Mixed 4x400m and Women’s 4x100m, and will have to draft two more athletes into each team to avoid failing to start both races.
This development follows the controversies that trailed AFN’s National Trials at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos in June.
The trials, which were held to select Nigeria’s representatives at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, had accusations of wrong recordings and wind reading and then malfunctioning the electronic timer.
The AFN also recently had to deal with a needless crisis caused by two factions that laid claims to the leadership of the federation.
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