A member of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, George Aluo, believes that Nigerian weightlifter, Chika Amalaha, who was banned and stripped of the gold medal she had earlier won at the Commonwealth Games was naive and could not have deliberately taken drugs.
He said that Chika, before the Commonwealth Games, had previously won several gold medals for the country and was also examined by the organizers of the international tournaments where she won. He therefore insisted that with her age and talent she could not have gone out of her way to take drugs.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Aluo explained that Chika took a tablet to enable her keep in her weight category which is 53kg but unfortunately the tablet contained some substance to enhance performance.
He also noted that Chika was tested before she went to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games and did not test positive.
Mr. Aluo said that the Weightlifting Board had set up a panel to investigate what happened and also get details from Chika, her coaches and the medical team attached to her.
Giving a background, Mr Aluo explained that Chika was discovered in 2013 during the National Weightlifting Championship in Uyo at the age of 15 as a youth athlete.
She was later taken to Malaysia during the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship and she won three gold medals for the country. He noted that this was “the first time Chika was flying a plane.” She also represented Nigeria at the African Youth Championship in Botswana where she won 3 gold medals.
Mr. Aluo, during the interview, also spoke about other issues concerning Nigerian sports. He criticized the National Sports Commissioner for not recognizing the athletes in the same manner footballers are recognized.