By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The House of Representatives tasked its sports committee to investigate the immediate and distant cause of the doping test failure in order to prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.
The House also called for an investigation into the activities of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development regarding the failure of doping tests by Nigerian athletes during the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
In competitive sports, doping is the alleged use of prohibited substances to enhance athletic performance by athletic competitors or to illegally enhance athletic performance in competition.
Nigeria is set to review and prevent bad drugs used by athletes in an effort to meet regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the independent anti-doping body, Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU).
This followed the implementation of a posturing by House Member Lawrence Ayeni on the House floor on Wednesday in Abuja, where he noted that the Nigerian delegation to the Olympics had made good progress in terms of performance, thus raising the country’s rating in the Committee of Nations.
He denounced the incident of July 20, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations banned 10 Nigerian athletes.
It may be recalled that this included the much-loved Ms. Blessing Okagbare of the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet out-of-competition drug testing requirements.
The Nigerian sprinter, who won the opening round of the women’s 100m, had tested positive for human growth hormone, as claimed by the Athletics Integrity Unit, and the allegation was that the affected athletes did not follow the rules.
According to Ayeni, countries deemed to be at high risk for doping were required to undergo three out-of-competition tests without notice during a 10-month period preceding a major event.
He added that despite the huge funds made available each year to regulatory agencies in the sports sector, not enough effort has been made to bring Nigeria into the category.
It is in this category, according to him, that they would be considered to have made significant improvements to doping controls.
The Minister of Sports and Youth Development was therefore summoned to inform the Sports Commission.
The Chamber also urged the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to put in place the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the regulations in force during local and international competitions.