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NSC Takes Steps To Check Doping

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The National Sports Commission (NSC) has said that it would, henceforth, conduct regular doping tests on Nigerian athletes, as the country prepares for the Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics.

Sports Minister, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, said this in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a two-day anti-doping workshop for national coaches and technical directors of the various sports in the country.

The workshop was jointly organised by the NSC and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The minister, who was represented by Alhassan Yakmut, the Director of Grassroots Sports Development in the NSC, said workshops on anti-doping would regularly be organised, to serve as pivots to checking the menace of doping.

Abdullahi, who doubles as Chairman of the NSC, said this would also nip the criminal and anti-social habit in the bud.

He said time had gone when athletes were made to suffer the punishment for doping violations alone.

The NSC boss said that coaches, technical directors, medical crew, other officials and organisations would now share in the punishments outlined for doping violations.

“The NSC as a responsible sports regulation institution in Nigeria has consolidated on its endorsement of the International Anti-Doping Code by constituting the National Anti-Doping Committee.

“The committee is to conduct regular doping test and to provide a broad latitude of advocacy and education on the dangers of consuming performance enhancing drugs.

“It is of paramount importance to reiterate that the beauty of success in sports can only be holistically appreciated when the performance is natural and the preparation is orthodox and consistent with moral principles,’’ Abdullahi said.

The Secretary-General, Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO, Mrs Anene Maidoh, said the collaboration was to provide a legal framework for collective action by Governments to address unethical behavior in sports.

She said the fight against doping should be strengthened through legislation, regulations and administrative practices.

Brig-Gen. Johnny Hamakin, Chairman of the National Anti-Doping Committee (NADC), said the committee was working hard to ensure that the message of anti-doping got to the grassroots.

This, he said, would be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, which Nigeria is signatory to, since 2003.

Hamakin pointed out that NADC, with the core mandate to midwife the establishment of a statutory and independent anti-doping agency, would drive a virile national anti-doping programme for the country.

He, however, called for the collective responsibility of all stakeholders in sports, to ensure a “clean sports’’ for the country.

Mr Sani Ndanusa, President , the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), noted that the fight against doping was a fight for all.

“The science, investigation and level of doping is increasing every day and I must say, so far, Nigeria is doing quite well, apart from what happened to our athletes at the last Commonwealth Games.

“Most of the developing areas include weightlifting and since then, we have been having clean lifters and clean weightlifting projects.

“That is why we are stepping up our campaign up to the grassroots.

“We are now trying to enlighten the athletes, the coaches, the administrators and all the corporate bodies that support sports.

“Henceforth, provision must be made for anti-doping desks in sports competitions, be it at the local, state or national levels,’’ Ndanusa said.

The two-day workshop, was attended by about 70 participants last week.

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RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports

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The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports. 
 He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered. 
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents. 
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said. 
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development. 
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.

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24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
 The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including;  the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.

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Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials

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Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran  10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday. 
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record.   The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster.        The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.

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