IAAF Awards Retrieved Gold To Okoro

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The International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) has awarded the Shot Put gold medal retrieved from banned Vivian Chukwuemeka to her compatriot, Chinwe Okoro.

Chukwuemeka had at the 18th Senior Africa Athletics Championships in Porto Novo, Republic of Benin, won the medal with a throw of 18.86m.

But she was banned and stripped of the gold medal after she tested positive to a banned substance.

The Technical Director, Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, said the IAAF in a letter dated Jan. 31, 2013, to the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), stripped Chukwuemeka of the gold medal.

The letter reads: “Considering the IAAF notification to CAA, dated January 31, 2013, informing the CAA about the sanction which was pronounced on the Nigerian athlete, Vivian Chukwuemeka, for positive doping test.

“Considering that June 21, 2012 the date on which the sanction started is previous to the 18th Senior African Championships of Porto Novo in which Vivian Chukwuemeka took part, she is stripped of the gold medal’’.

Nesiama said the AFN was ordered to recover the gold medal won by Chukwuemeka and hand it over to Okoro, who was second with a throw of 16.21m.

He said that with the development, the new classification of medals were gold for Chinwe Okoro, while Omotayo Talabi another Nigerian, now holds the silver medal.

He said that the CAA asked the AFN to give back the bronze medal to the CAA, to be awarded to Dongmo Auriole, a Cameroonian athlete.

The record of 18.48m won by Chukwuemeka at the Walnut Games on April 19, 2003, however, still remains the African record for women’s shot put.

Nesiama told Tidesports that the withdrawal of the gold medal from Chukwuemeka had not affected the country’s position as the best in Africa.

He said that after all, it was awarded to her compatriot and the country ranked first and second.

“To me, it has not really affected our position as the champions of Africa.

“We lost Chukwuemeka’s medal, but it is still okay because we did not lose as the gold and silver medal are still in the country,’’ he said.