Tokyo Olympics: Reps To Summon Sports Minister Over Doping Crisis

A file photo of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.

 

The House of Representatives on Wednesday opened a probe into the disqualification of Nigerian athletes at the 2020 Olympics over alleged doping.

During the plenary, the lower chamber resolved to summon the Minister of  Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, to explain the preparedness of the Nigerian contingent for the sports festival.

The resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion at the plenary titled, “Need to Investigate Activities of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on [the] Failed Doping Test by Nigeria Athletes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

While moving the motion, the lawmaker representing Ijesa South Federal Constituency of Osun, Babatunde Ayeni, said the Nigerian delegation to the Olympic Games fared well in terms of performance, thereby raising the country’s rating the comity of nations.

He recalled the outstanding performance of the Nigerian football team at the 1996 Olympics where the country bagged a historic first soccer gold medal at the Centennial Games in Atlanta, United States of America.

Consequently, the lawmakers resolved to “Invite the Minister Youth and Sports Development to brief the Committee on Sports on the level of Nigeria’s compliance with extant regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the independent anti-doping arm, Athletics Integrity Unit.”

They also asked, “the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to put necessary measures in place to ensure compliance with extant regulations at both local and international competitions.”

Similarly, the House mandated its Committee on Sports to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the failed doping test to forestall future occurrences.

Nigerian Women Shine As Olympics Games Enter Day 12

Nigeria’s Moriam Seun Adigun (R) and Nigeria’s Akuoma Omeoga wave after the women’s bobsleigh heat 2 run during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Olympic Sliding Centre on February 20, 2018 in Pyeongchang.
MOHD RASFAN / AFP

 

As the ongoing Olympics games taking place in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, Team Nigeria participating in the Bobsleigh made history as the West African nation’s first representatives at a Winter Olympics reaching the finals.

Seven gold medals are on offer on day 12 of the Pyeongchang Olympics. Here are the highlights:

Bobsleigh 

Nigeria‘s women make history in the finals of the bobsleigh as the West African nation’s first representatives at a Winter Olympics. Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere make up the team for the women’s bobsleigh and don’t count themselves among the favourites. They are just hoping to come home in one piece. “It’s very similar to being thrown down a hill in a trash can — you just don’t really know where you’ll end up sometimes,” Seun told AFP.

Alpine skiing 

American Lindsey Vonn won the Olympic downhill gold medal in Vancouver eight year ago and missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics through injury. At 33 she remains the favourite in the most testing alpine discipline. Vonn showed in three training sessions she still has the pace and passion and could break the record for oldest female medallist in alpine skiing, set by Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister in 2006 at the age of 32 years and 332 days.

Figure skating 

Evgenia Medvedeva, 18, is tipped to clinch the title by her many admirers. But her 15-year-old training partner Alina Zagitova is a serious threat. The 2018 WinterGames gold medal appeared to be Medvedeva’s to lose until she broke her foot in October, sidelining her for over two months and allowing Zagitova to seize her chance to take centre stage. In a sensational first season as a senior, she swept all before her, culminating in defeat for a fit-again Medvedeva at the European championships in Moscow in January. The competition between them promises to be compelling.

Freestyle skiing 

Switzerland’s Marc Bischofberger goes into the Olympic men’s ski cross competition as a favourite with three straight World Cup victories. The Canadians are strong and will be inspired by Cassie Sharpe’s victory for Canada on Tuesday in the halfpipe. Also looking for a podium finish is Frenchman Jean-Frederic Chapuis, the defending champion, who led a French sweep of the medals in 2104.

 

Ice hockey 

The United States, who have not won an Olympic gold medal since 1980, play the unbeaten Czech Republic in the quarter-finals of the men’s ice hockey tournament. The young Americans without their NHL stars could come unstuck against a tough Czech outfit looking for their first Olympic title in two decades. Later in the day in other quarter-finals, the Russians, under the neutral name OAR, take on Norway while Sweden play Germany and defending champions Canada meet Finland.

 

AFP

I expect at least 36 medals in next Olympics – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has raised the bar of performance in sports ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil as he charged Nigerian Athletes to bring home with 36 medals which must include at least five gold medals.

Also present at the retreat which took place on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja was Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.

Others were members of the Federal Executive Council, sports administrators, security chiefs, captains of industries among others.

The president charged the state governors to look into areas of advantage so as to contribute one athlete in their own chosen advantageous area who will be amongst the Team Nigeria 2016 contingent.

Mr Jonathan said: “Every state has some level of comparative advantage in one form of sports or the order and if every state will promise Nigerians that we will give you a medal in this area and another medal in this area that means we are expecting 36 medals.

“Out of these 36 medals, at least five will be gold. I also believe that the private sector will play a key role. We know that in some countries, the private sector plays some key roles in sporting activities and not just trading or manufacturing sporting wares.”

The president further promised his administration’s commitment to ensure that Nigeria becomes the best sporting nation in Africa and among the top four sporting nations in the Commonwealth and ultimately rule the world.

Jonathan said the vision was not only realistic but was also achievable with hard work, greater sense of purpose and dedication.

The purpose of the retreat according to the president was to chart a new course for sports in Nigeria and reclaim the country’s past glory as well as restore happiness and glory to the sporting events.

Mr Jonathan observed that apart from its benefits in bringing joy to Nigerians, especially when the nation’s teams do well, no other sector of national life has a greater force for mobilising and uniting the people around a common purpose than sports.

London Olympics: Regina George re-admitted after dope clearance

One of Nigeria’s female athlete at the on-going London Olympic Games, Regine George, has been re-admitted to participate in the games after passing a second drug test.

Regina was banned two weeks ago alongside two other Nigerian athletes, Vivian Chukwuemeka and Lauretta Ozoh, after their blood samples tested positive to banned drugs.

Regina was however cleared after she passed the mandatory second test in surrey, United Kingdom and has now returned to the Games Village to join Team Nigeria.

Confirming the development to Punch newspaper, the medical doctor for Team Nigeria, Dr. Kenneth Anugweje, stated that Regina was cleared after hearings by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

She will now compete in the 400m and 4x400m races.

Ozoh and Chukwuemeka failed the second test and they have both been asked to leave the camp immediately.

Ozoh was expected to compete in 100m, 200m and 4x100m, Chukwuemeka who holds Africa and Commonwealth record for shot put entered the games in the shot put category.