The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN FCT Chapter has commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for ordering a probe on the disqualification of 11 Nigerian athletes at the just concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
It will be recalled that on Wednesday at the plenary, Mr Babatunde Ayeni, representing Ijesha South Federal Constituency, while moving a motion, lamented the incident of July 20, 2021, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations barred 10 Nigerian athletes and highly-rated Blessing Okagbare, from the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing and use of banned substances respectively.
Gbajabiamila further directed the House Committee on Sports to invite the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare to brief the lawmakers on the level of Nigeria’s compliance with extant regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Reacting to the development in Abuja, chairman of the SWAN FCT chapter, Bunmi Haruna, hailed the leadership of the House for taking the initiative to ask questions and proffer suggestions on how to prevent reoccurrence of such shameful events in the future games.
He said, “We are happy that the leadership of the House have finally listened to the cries of Nigerians to probe the shameful acts that also saw the disqualified athletes protest on the streets of Tokyo. The events that happened in Tokyo is shameful and should not be allowed to be swept under the carpet like nothing happened.
“Everywhere we went, people kept asking why 10 Nigerian athletes got disqualified at the Olympics and the persons that are supposed to provide the answers have been walking the streets freely as if nothing happened,” he noted.
The SWAN chairman further stated, “We hope this will not be just another enquiry. We hope the House will get to the root of the events that happened before and during the Olympics to forestall future occurrences and waste of tax payers money.”
“The House is concerned that despite the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests. ”Ayeni said.
The Speaker House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has since mandated the Committee on Sports to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test to forestall future occurrence.
It will also be recalled that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Chief Sunday Dare promised to probe the show of shame at the Tokyo Olympics but has yet to inaugurate the committee.