By Mohammed LAWAL
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria , (SWAN) FCT chapter, has applauded the directive by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila to House Committee on Sports to beam its searchlight on the disgraceful disqualification of 11 Nigerian athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The House had on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, looked into the disqualification of Blessing Okagbare and 10 other Nigerian athletes over different doping violations, asking the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, to come and explain why Nigeria was outrightly disgraced before the world.
Reacting to the development in Abuja, chairman SWAN FCT chapter, Bunmi Haruna, hailed the leadership of the House for taking the initiatives to ask questions and proffer suggestions on how to prevent reoccurrence of such shameful events in the future games.
“We are happy that the leadership of the House have finally listened to the cries of Nigerians to probe the shameful acts that also saw the disqualified athletes protest in the streets of Tokyo. The events that happened in Tokyo is shameful and should not be allowed to be swept under the carpet like nothing happened.”
“Everywhere we went, people kept asking why 10 Nigerian athletes got disqualified at the Olympics and the persons that are supposed to provide the answers have been walking the streets of Abuja freely as if nothing happened.”
“We hope this will not be just another enquiry. We hope the House can get to the root of the events that happened before and during the Olympics to forestall future occurrences and waste of tax payers money,” Haruna said.
Moving the motion on Wednesday at the plenary, Mr Babatunde Ayeni, representing Ijesha South Federal Constituency, lamented the incident of July 20, 2021, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations barred 10 Nigerian athletes and highly-rated Blessing Okagbare, from the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing and use of banned substances respectively.
“The House is concerned 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 where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests, ”Ayeni said.
The Speaker has since mandated the House Committee on Sports to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test to forestall future occurrence.
It will be recalled that the sports minister promised to probe the show of shame at the Tokyo Olympics but has yet to inaugurate the committee.
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