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AIU Commends Nigeria for Imposing Stricter Anti-doping Measures

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The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has commended the Nigerian government for imposing stricter anti-doping measures and increase in the number of testings by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

The AIU is an international body and special unit created by the International Amateur Athletic Federations to oversee all issues relating to doping control among its members.

The athletes from countries in this category must have at least three out of competition testings (OCTs), with each test to be conducted three weeks apart within the ten months leading to a major international event like the Olympic Games and the World Championships.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, ten out of Nigeria’s twenty three athletes were barred from competing, owing to their failure to meet this AIU requirement (Rule 15 of AIU framework) that came into force in January 2019.
But at the ongoing 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America, all twenty five Nigerian athletes registered were cleared to participate having met the requirement.
Also,from a meagre 26 tests conducted on Nigerian athletes in 2021, 157 tests have already been done in 2022.

Commenting on the development, David Howman, chairman of the AIU board, said he was pleased to see significant improvements in the efforts to clean up the sport in Nigeria. “I particularly commend the Nigerian team. It is amazing what can be achieved when the domestic authorities start taking anti doping seriously,” Howman said. “While there have clearly been positive steps across the board, there are still many improvements to be made in the application of the rule and we will continue to work with the Category A Federations to do so.”

On his part, Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports, who has been the driving force in the push to improve Nigeria’s anti doping status and image, said the AIU’s commendation confirms that the ministry is doing something right. “We cannot afford a repeat of the embarrassment we got in Tokyo where ten of our athletes were declared ineligible to compete on technical grounds as a result of the breach of the AIU rule. We had to be proactive and put stricter measures in place, not minding the attacks and snide comments from certain quarters,” “This commendation will spur us on to continue to do all we can to improve our anti doping status and image”.

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