A total of 12 Nigerian athletes have been cleared by the Integrity unit of the World Athletics Council and eligible to compete at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.
This is according to Adeniyi Beyioku, Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 18 athletes from the final entries for the Tokyo Olympic Games were on Wednesday declared not eligible to compete.
This, according to the Athletics Integrity unit, was because the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules were not met by ‘Category A’ Federations.
In addition, two athletes from Kenya were replaced by the National Federation prior to the submission of their entries to World Athletics.
Nigeria was the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes.
Under the framework of Rule 15 governing National Federation Anti-Doping Obligations, which came into force in January 2019, National Federations are accountable for ensuring appropriate anti-doping measures are in place in their respective jurisdictions.
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 key requirement in Rule 15 is 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.
Beyioku said that he was delighted with the latest development and assured that the federation will continue to be the goose that lays Team Nigeria’s golden eggs at the Olympics.
“The Integrity Unit of the World Athletics Council has cleared 12 Nigerian athletes as eligible to participate fully at the Tokyo Olympics.