Nigerian athletes protested in Tokyo on Friday after they were disqualified from the Olympic Games due to them failing to meet anti-doping testing requirements.
Ten athletes that were set to become Olympians were banned from competing in the track and field competition due to Nigerian sports officials reportedly failing to register them properly for three mandatory out-of-competition tests according to Nigeria’s Premium Times.
The Ministry of Sports and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) claimed that the tests the athletes took did not meet the collection and analysis standards, with the Athletics Integrity Unit (which is in charge of handling anti-doping standards for the sport), stated that they failed to meet the testing requirements.
The AFN replied with “The AFN bears responsibility for any lapses that may have occurred during the process and reassures Nigerians that our performances will not be negatively impacted”.
“All our athletes resident in Nigeria and who qualified for the Olympic Games completed the three mandatory tests. Most of our top athletes resident in the USA also completed their tests.”
“However, a few athletes in the American collegiate system were tested but those tests were deemed not to have compiled with… sample collection and analysis standards.”
This decision did not go down well with the disqualified runners.
The athletes marched and protested against the decision in the streets of Tokyo, with statements on placards saying “All we wanted to do was compete” and “Why should we suffer because of someone else’s negligence”.
The AFN also noted that no Nigerian athlete tested positive for prohibited substances.
The Nigerian athletes represented half of the total number of athletes that were disqualified across the world due to them violating OCT regulations.
2020 Olympics: Disqualified Team Nigeria’s athletes protest in Tokyo https://t.co/UBJME83mhh #Nigeria #NigeriaNews pic.twitter.com/iEiYfHRmAb— Nigeria Newspapers Online (@NigNewspapers) July 30, 2021
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Disqualified Team Nigeria Track and Field athletes storm the streets of Japan to protest.#Tokyo2020 #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/3Ee9tdVC9W— Just Events Online Publication (@justeventsonlin) July 30, 2021