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C’Wealth Games: Better to return without medals than be sent home for failing drug test, FG warns athletes

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Nigerian athletes protest in Tokyo

The Federal Government of Nigeria has directed all relevant authorities to ensure that necessary tests are carried out on all the athletes before the take off of contingents to the Commonwealth Games holding in Birmingham, UK in July 2022.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare gave the directive Wednesday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja during a meeting held with the stakeholders of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

According to Dare, Nigeria will not hesitate to drop any athlete who attempts to tarnish the image of the country again.

“We will prefer to come back from the games without medals rather than being embarrassed a second time, there must be no exceptions,” said Dare.

Ripples Nigeria recalls that about 10 Nigerian athletes were disqualified during last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, and it was a big blow to Nigeria in the nation’s bid for medals.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the International Olympic Committee handed disqualification to the athletes on the grounds that they did not complete the mandatory Out of Competition tests before the Games.

Read Also: Ministry orders probe into disqualification of Nigerian athletes at Tokyo Olympics

Dare who said that the countdown to the Commonwealth Games has already started, with 60 days to the event, added that the Ministry is already working with the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) to ensure that contingents’ accommodation, camping, testing, ticketing and kits are adequately taken care of.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Alh. Ismaila Abubakar stated that nine Federations are already lined up to fly the banner of Nigeria at the games.

He added that Nigeria will be fielding 100 athletes in Judo, Athletics, Boxing, Weightlifting, Table tennis, Wrestling, Para-table tennis, Para-athletics and Para-powerlifting

Also speaking, the President, Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC), Engr. Habu Gumel, stated that accreditation is ongoing, adding that 14 media houses and 701 journalists applied to cover the games.

Earlier In his opening remarks, the Director, Federation Elite and Athletes Department, (FEAD)/Chef de Mission, Dr. Simon Ebhojaiye disclosed that the campings are ongoing while the official phase of camping will commence from May 30 to June 30 and July 2 – July 21, 2022 respectively.

He explained that the Birmingham Games Village will be officially opened on July 22, 2022 while the opening ceremony for the Games will hold on July 28, 2022.

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