An unprecedented event has occurred at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as 10 Nigerian athletes have been declared ineligible to further compete at the games.
The athletes were said to have failed to meet the anti-doping testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules for ‘Category A’ federations.
A statement on Wednesday from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), an independent body created by World Athletics that manages all integrity issues – doping and non-doping – revealed that a total of 18 athletes have been declared ineligible – with Nigeria the most affected country.
One of the major requirements of Rule 15 is that “an athlete from a ‘Category A’ country must undergo at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests (urine and blood) conducted not longer than 3 weeks interval apart in the 10 months before a major event.
But, Nigeria with no major doping cases was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels, according to the AIU website.
For the year 2021, the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations are Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine.
The report has dealt a huge blow to Team Nigeria’s chances of winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics with six days into the sporting event.