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Ten Nigerians athletes have been disqualified from the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics for not meeting up with the necessary requirement for the games
A statement issued by the Athletics Integrity Unit, an independent body created by World Athletics that manages all integrity issues – both doping and non-doping, said 20 athletes were affected by the disqualification.
The body said despite significant improvements in the domestic testing programmes in countries categorised as being the highest doping risk to the sport under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (Anti-Doping Rules), 18 athletes from the final entries for the Tokyo Olympic Games were not eligible to compete because the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules were not met by ‘Category A’ Federations.
It said in addition, two athletes from Kenya were replaced by the National Federation prior to the submission of their entries to World Athletics.
“Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes. Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels,” the statement said.
According to the body, under the framework of Rule 15 governing National Federation Anti-Doping Obligations, which came into force in January 2019, National Federations were accountable for ensuring appropriate anti-doping measures are in place in their respective jurisdictions.
It said among other things, the Rule sets out minimum requirements for testing on the national teams of ‘Category A’ federations deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport.
The body added that the key requirement in Rule 15 was that an athlete from a ‘Category A’ country must undergo at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests (urine and blood) conducted no less than 3 weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event.
“Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games,’ it said.
The Unit stated that for the year 2021, the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations were Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine and that the relevant data for the number of athletes from each federation for whom the testing requirements of Rule 15 were not met.
The requirement states that in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games, the ‘Category A’ Federations, in partnership with their respective National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), generally made significant progress with respect to their domestic testing programmes.