The Head coach of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Seigha Porbeni has described as worrisome, the latest doping crisis facing the country’s sports.
Within 48 hours, two Nigerian athletes were alleged to have failed dope tests. First, was the young high jumper, David Aya, who failed a drug test at last month’s World Athletics Junior Championships in Cali, Colombia.
While the AFN is still trying to unravel the circumstances surrounding Aya’s dope issue, the country was hit by a fresh doping crisis, as a member of the gold winning Nigeria women 4x100meters at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Grace Nkwokocha, allegedly failed a dope test. The team featuring Tobi Amusan, Rosemary Chukwuma, Favour Ofili and Grace Nwokocha, won gold with a new African record of 42.10s. But this may amount to nothing as the anchor of the race, Nwokacha, is in the dope dragnet.
While saying the issue is worrisome, Porbeni said it was too early to jump into conclusion. “I am not supposed to comment on this, because it is strictly under the Chairman and members of the Anti-doping committee of the AFN. However, the matter is still being investigated. As soon as this issue is clarified, the AFN will make a public statement through the President of the Federation. Let us be patient. The Federation is equally as disturbed about this unpleasant development.”
On his part, AFN Technical Director, Samuel Onikeku said: “We just got correspondence and we have not even sat on it.”Some media reports indicate that the AFN has been notified of the development by the World Anti-doping agency as the confirmation of the B sample of the affected athletes is still being awaited.
As a rule, Team Nigeria would be stripped of the medal and the performance, if the athlete involved, Nwokwocha, is not exonerated. Apart from staining the record achieved by Team Nigeria at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the number of gold medal will reduce to 11. President Buhari is yet to officially receive the team in Abuja.
Rivers United, Wydad AC Clash: CAF Unveils Match Officials
Ahead of the second preliminary round tie match against Rivers United FC and Wydad AC in the CAF Champions League, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has revealed the match officials for the first leg.
The Pride of Rivers will play hosts to the Moroccan outfit, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium on Sunday, with Côte D’Ivoire officials in charge.
Ibrahim Kalilou Traore will be at the center of proceedings, assisted by countrymen Adou Hermann Desiré N’goh and Nouho Ouattara as First and Second Assistant, respectively.
Bienvenu Sinko, an Ivorian as well, will be the Fourth Official while Langtombong tombong Tamba, a Gambian national, will be the Match Commissioner.
Meanwhile, Ozi Salami Abdulrahim Onimisi will be the Covid-19 Officer as designated by CAF.
After the Sunday first leg, the second is slated a week later, in the Morocco with the aggregate winner advancing to the Group Stage of the Champions League.
The other team will then earn a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup, one step away from the Group stages.
Cricket: Nigeria Beats Sierra Leone To Top Group
Hosts Nigeria defeated Sierra Leone by 11 runs to top Group B in a nerve-wrecking game at the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup Africa Division Two Qualifiers in Abuja.
Nigeria won the toss and elected to bat. Usual suspects Paul Pam and Selim Saliu opened the batting order for Nigeria, putting up an excellent partnership to score a 100 for the team, before Pam was sent to the stands in the 27th over.
Pam’s dismissal was the twick Sierra Leone needed to dismiss the hosts successfully in the next 20 overs, limiting Nigeria to 184 runs, all out in 47.4 overs.
The second innings meant Nigeria needed to defend the score against a strong-willed Sierra Leonean side, with captain John Bangura steering the ship.
Bangura, who played 87 runs, not out in 118 balls, raced the run score for Sierra Leone, before Prosper Useni halted their pace, claiming six wickets in the process.
The visitors scored 173 all out in 41.5 overs.
The loss means they set up a clash against Kenya, winners of Group A on Thursday, while Nigeria will face the runners-up in Group A, Malawi.
Prosper Useni emerged player of the match with bowling statistics of six wickets and 26 runs in 6.5 overs.
Super Falcons Fall To Japan 0-2
Super Falcons lost 2-0 to a dominant Japan side in their friendly clash at the Noevir Stadium, Kobe yesterday morning.
The encounter which was the third ever between both teams saw Mina Tanaka scoring the two goals for the Nadeshiko.
Rany Waldrum was without Asisat Oshoala but had Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal, making crucial saves to keep the scoreline respectable.
Although the team fielded other stars like Rasheedat Ajibade, Michelle Alozie, Uchenna Kanu, Ngozi Okobe among others, they played second fiddle to the Nadeshiko.
Takana got Japan in the lead in the 64th minute tapping home from a freekick before doubling the advantage four minutes later from the spot.
The Super Falcons are now without a win in their last five games.
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