Nigerian Track and Field Athletes disqualified in Tokyo, Japan

Nigerian athletes stage protests in Tokyo Japan over disqualification. [Image: courtesy]
Nigeria—Nigerian athletes have staged  demonstrations and protests in Tokyo Japan Olympic games after ten of them were disqualified from taking part in the track and field events in the on-going Olympic competitions.

With gathering revealing that twenty athletes, including ten from Nigeria were expelled from taking part in track and field at the Olympic because they did not meet the anti-doping test requirements in the lead-up to the games.

According to the body running the anti-doping program for the sport, Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), athletes from countries categorized as high risk, because of deficiencies in their testing program are required to be given three no-notice out of competition tests in the 10 months leading to a major event.

Following the untimely disqualification, the athletes took to the street’s to make their feelings known. The athletes carried placards with inscriptions like: Why should we suffer for someone else’s negligence,” “All we wanted to do was to compete” and “we are not just alternates but potential medalists.”

Grace Obina could not hide her sentiments as she said, “We have invested much in this competition, blood and water and here we are suffering a blow that we should not.  The Athletics Integrity Unit is wrong in its move, and they are aware. Nigeria is not a high risk country and if anything the pandemic emanated from the west not any African country.

“We understand our capacity and they should come out in black and white to tell us what’s the essence of this.”

Backing her sentiments Tom Bulefu said, “We have done all the required tests and it’s clear non is positive of the malady, then why this segregation in the name of a three months’ notice? I mean that’s sad and totally uncalled for.”

Meanwhile, on Friday the duo of Blessing Okagbare and Grace Nwokocha qualified for the 100 meters semi finals of their different heats