Amidst the shoddy preparations, poor funding and deafening uncertainty, the front line hope Nigeria has for medals at the Rio Olympics suffers a devastating ban. It is well known that it is only the track and field events particularly the sprints that Nigeria’s hope for medals is. That has been well demonstrated over time at the local meets, African and Commonwealth meets. Reports say, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has banned Nigeria’s 4x400m women’s relay team from attending the 2016 Olympic Games holding in Rio, Brazil, next month.
According to IAAF, the Nigerian team was banned because one of them, Tosin Adeloye, tested positive to drugs during the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Super Grand Prix/Warri Relays in Warri, Delta State on July 24th last year. In line with extant rules, Adeloye’s positive drug test and subsequent ban for eight years means all the results she achieved from the period she tested positive, individually and jointly will be disregarded. Is anyone at the Nigerian Sports Ministry bold enough to tell Nigerians that what is happening is not typical of the non-seriousness of many Nigerian sports officials in handling potentially scandalous issues relating to sports?
Adding to Nigeria’s woes is the fact that the Nigerian team can no longer forward a new replacement. What a sad time for Nigerian athletics? The Olympics is the indisputable world stage for athletes to shine and the only sport that Nigeria has done fairly well over time mostly at Continental and Commonwealth levels is now suffering this bad news. How exactly did things get this bad for Nigerian athletics? Someone must pay a heavy price for this.