The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has denied banning Nigeria’s fastest female sprinter, Blessing Okagbare, from participating in the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The news broke on Tuesday Night that the athlete will not be part of Team Nigeria for the global competition due to her lack of patriotism and insincerity by lying to the authorities with an injury claim.
Gloria Okagbare had earlier notified the federation that she will not be participating in the ongoing All African Games in Congo Brazzaville. But after her ban was reported on Wednesday, HOMELAND NEWS gathered that Okagbare set out to join the team in Congo.
In a swift reaction, authorities of the Athletics Federation denied that Okagbare was banned.
Recall that Blessing who was Nigeria’s medal hope had a woeful performance at the 100m final at the just concluded IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China where she took last out of 9 runners. 4 days later, the sprinter pulled out of the 200m claiming injury.
The injury claim became suspicious when Blessing took to her facebook page to lambast those who criticized her poor outing at the 100m final. She claimed that she does not owe anyone explanation as she is a self-made athlete and accused Nigeria’s sports managers of not being interested in her career.
On Thursday, Blessing Okagbare announced she will not be part of the Team Nigeria for the 11th All African Games in Congo which HOMELAND NEWS learnt was more of a shock to the National Sports Commission and the Athletics Federation.
Close watchers of Nigeria’s sports said Blessing Okagbare had been over pampered by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria headed by Delta born Solomon Ogba. We were told that in order to protect her and make her comfortable, some foreign based athletes were frustrated out of the country’s sports space.
Tosin Oke, a triple jumper who is based in Britain had complained to the Federation that preferential treatment in favour of one athlete is injurious to the team. As punishment for daring to speak, he was not invited for the National trial ahead of the All African Games and the Olympics. The triple jumper still came for the trial and won gold. HOMELAND NEWS was authoritatively informed that Tosin Oke, the country’s best triple jumper is not at the ongoing Continental games.
Another Athlete, US based Gloria Asumnu was given six months suspension from the National team for asking that the Federation be fair in treating all the athletes in the same manner. She complained that the authorities always bend the rules to favour Blessing. She is the closest rival to Okagbare in the 100 and 200 meters race.
While giving credit to the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Solomon Ogba for not sparing even his personal resources in running the federation, close watchers said he may have succeeded in sending a dangerous signal to the other athletes. He is Urhobo from Delta State which is where Blessing Okagbare was born to.