Reps Summon Sports Minister Over Funds for Doping Tests, Others
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on sports to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test in order to prevent the future occurrence of such an incident.
The House also called for an investigation into the activities of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development on failed doping tests by Nigerian athletes at the recently concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
In competitive sports, doping is the alleged use of banned athletic performance-enhancing drugs by athletic competitors or to illegally improve athletic performance in competitions.
Nigeria is set to examine and prevent the wrong drugs used by athletes in a bid to meet the regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the independent anti-doping arm, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
This followed the implementation of a gesticulation by a member of the house, Mr Lawrence Ayeni, on the floor of the House on Wednesday in Abuja, where he noted that the Nigeria delegation to the Olympic games progressed well in terms of performance, thereby raising the country’s rating the in the comity of Nations.
He denounced the incident of July 20, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations barred 10 Nigerian athletes.
It could be recalled that this included the highly-rated Ms Blessing Okagbare, from the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing.
The Nigerian sprinter, who won the opening heat of the women’s 100m, had tested positive for human growth hormone as alleged by the Athletics Integrity Unit, and the allegation affirmed that the affected athletes failed to comply with the rules.
According to Mr Ayeni, countries deemed to be at high risk of doping were meant to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10 months’ period leading up to a major event.
He added that despite the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category.
This category, according to him, is where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests.
The Minister of Sports and Youth Development was, therefore, summoned to brief the Committee on Sports.
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to put necessary measures in place to ensure compliance with extant regulations at both local and international competitions.