Some of the 10 athletes from Nigeria banned from participating in the Tokyo Olympics Games have taken to the streets of Tokyo, Japan, in protest against the official shoddiness that led to their fate.
The athletes, mainly women, were walking in protest in the streets of Tokyo carrying placards which read:
‘All We Wanted To Do Was Compete’
‘Why Should We Suffer Because of Someone’s Else Negligence’
‘We Are Not Just Alternates But Potential Medalists’
The athletes were declared ineligible to contest in the Tokyo Olympics by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after reportedly failing the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15.
Altogether, 18 athletes were affected with 10 of them being Nigerians.
The 18 athletes were from seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations, namely Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine.
According to AIU, “under the framework of Rule 15 governing National Federation Anti-Doping Obligations, which came into force in January 2019, National Federations are accountable for ensuring appropriate anti-doping measures are in place in their respective jurisdictions.
“Among other things, the Rule sets out minimum requirements for testing on the national teams of ‘Category A’ federations deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport.
“The key requirement in 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 no less than 3 weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event. Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games.
“For the year 2021, the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations are: Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine.”