10 of Nigeria’s 20 athletes expected to participate in athletics events at the Tokyo Olympics have been declared ineligible to compete by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics, stating a violation of Rule 15 of World Athletics’ Anti-Doping Rules.
This was disclosed by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in a statement on Wednesday, withholding names of the athletes, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
What the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said
The AIU stated that countries ranked as “Category A’ must meet certain testing requirements, which the Nigerian athletes did not comply with.
“The rule states that athletes from ‘Category A’ federations must meet the minimum testing requirements to confirm their eligibility to participate in a major event.
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,” the independent anti-doping body for athletics stated.
Meanwhile, David Bowman, Chairman of the AIU Board said National Federations must play their part in supporting anti-doping efforts.
“The eligibility rules for athletes from ‘Category A’ countries are very clear and compliance is essential for cementing the required long-term changes, and ensuring a level playing field for clean athletes.
I must underline that there have been significant improvements in anti-doping efforts in most ‘Category A’ countries, thanks to this rule.
The relevant National Federations in conjunction with their National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADO) have started to take their testing responsibilities seriously,” Bowman said.
Due to weak domestic testing for the sport, Nigeria was included in ‘Category A’, following a series of poor test levels.
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