Nigeria to conduct pre-competition drug tests on athletes

Chika Amalaha

Amalaha has been accused of doping at the Commonwealth Games.

The Chairman, National Sports Commission, Tamuno Danagogo, has said that the commission would henceforth conduct pre-competition drug tests on athletes before they feature in any competition.
This was disclosed in a statement by Mr. Danagogo’s Special Assistant on Media, Patrick Omorodion, on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr. Omorodion quoted Mr. Danagogo, who is also the Minister of Sports, as expressing desire to use his office to enshrine the tenets of integrity and fair competition in Nigerian sports.

Mr. Danagogo was reacting to the failed drug test by 16-year-old Nigerian weightlifter, Chika Amalaha, at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

“The first drug-test failure of our female weightlifter is very embarrassing and I feel so saddened. Although, I am still convinced that Amalaha is innocent. I hope she doesn’t fail the confirmation test. Nevertheless I must use my office as Sports Minister to enshrine the tenets of integrity and fair competition in our sports, especially as it concerns youths.

“In this regard, I will ensure the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning devices among others as routine on our age-grade players and pre-competition drug tests regime on athletes generally. Officials and coaches who are found to encourage or condone cheating of any kind will face severe sanctions,” Mr. Danagogo said.

Amalaha, who won gold in the 53kg category, was on Tuesday provisionally suspended from the ongoing Games.

Her ‘A sample’ was found to contain amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide, both prohibited as diuretics and masking agents under class S5 of World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) prohibited list.
But she pursued her right to have her B sample tested on July 30. The result of the second test is still being awaited.

(NAN)


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