Athletics

Tokyo Olympics: Blessing Okagbare blames AFN over ban of 10 Nigerian athletes

Nigeria duo of Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare have been disqualified from taking part in the men and women’s 200m and 4x100m relays of the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for breaching of competition rules.

Blessing Okagbare has blamed officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) following the ban of 10 of the country’s Track and Field athletes from taking part at the on-going Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Twenty athletes, including 10 from Nigeria, will not be allowed to participate in track and field at the Olympics because they did not meet anti-doping testing requirements in the lead-up to the Games.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which runs the anti-doping program for the sport, requires athletes from countries categorized as “high risk” because of deficiencies in their testing programs to be given three no-notice, out-of-competition tests in the 10 months leading to a major event.

Each of the seven so-called “Category A” countries had at least one athlete banned from the Games. The countries are Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Ukraine.

And reacting to the ban, Okagbare wrote on Twitter:”I have said it before and I will say it again. If you do not know the sport, not passionate about it/Us (the athletes), then you have no business there as an administrator. The sport system in Nigeria is so flaw and we athletes, are always at the receiving end of the damages.

“They were busy fighting over power, Exercising their pride over puma contract/ kits forgetting their major responsibility “THE ATHLETES”. It’s sad that this cycle keeps repeating its self and some people will come out to say I am arrogant for speaking my truth. It is my CAREER.”

Okagbare will take to the tracks when athletes kicks off on Friday.

Meanwhile, Team Nigeria is yet to win any medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

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