…enforces athletes completion of out-of-competition tests
President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonebok Okowa, has revealed that the federation is working assiduously to ensure that all its major athletes complete their out-of-competition doping tests ahead of the various international competitions listed for the year including the Commonwealth Games.
Okowa stated that the federation would be looking to avoid the embarrassment during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where a total of 10 Nigerian athletes were barred from participating in various athletics events, after failing to meet the minimum testing requirements in the months leading up to the Olympics.
According to “Rule 15,” of the Athletics Integrity Unit, athletes are to carry out 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.
With the Commonwealth Games and several other competitions just around the corner, Okowa revealed that they were working to ensure that all athletes completed the testing to avoid having them disqualified at championships.
“Right now we are going to concentrate on and make sure that all our athletes, especially the major ones, have complied with all their out-of-competition doing tests,” Okowa told The PUNCH.
“We remember what happened at the Olympics where some of our athletes went and were not allowed to compete because some of them did not complete their out-of-competition tests.
“It is sometimes difficult to hold on to these athletes to comply but at the end of the day when we experience the trouble, the entire country holds the AFN.
“All we are trying to do is to make sure we put the athletes under pressure to comply so that there will be no mishap in the future.
“Right now Nigeria is in category A, which is not so good for us, but we are fighting to get out of that category.”
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