Ten Nigerian athletes have been disqualified from participating in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan.
In a statement released by the Athletics Integrity Unit, a total of 20 athletes are not eligible for participation in the track and field event for failing to meet the necessary by Category A Federations.
The Athletics Integrity Unit is an independent body created by World Athletics that manages all integrity issues – both doping and non-doping. The statement showed that a total of 20 athletes and half of them are Nigerians. Other countries affected are Belarus, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, and Ukraine.
The athletes were disqualified for not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 governing National Anti-Doping Federation.
A bit of good news for Nigeria is that top athletes like Blessing Okagbare, Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Divine Oduduru, and Chukwuebuka Enekwechi are not affected.
The released statement says: “Despite significant improvements in the domestic testing programmes in countries categorised as being the highest doping risk to the sport under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (Anti-Doping Rules), 18 athletes from the final entries for the Tokyo Olympic Games are not eligible to compete because the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules were not met by ‘Category A’ Federations. In addition, two athletes from Kenya were replaced by the National Federation before the submission of their entries to World Athletics.
“Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes. Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels.
This is sad news for the West African nation, as the track and field events are where they hope to win some medals, but will now reply on the eligible athletes to make them proud.