Minister for Youth and Sport, Solomon Dalong
Monday, 1 August 2016
Nigerian Sports Will Undergo TOTAL REFORM After Olympic Games Says Sports Minister. cc @DrJoeAbah
The Nigerian Women’s 4×400 relay team will not compete in the 2016 Rio Games after an athlete who tested positive for a banned substance was disqualified by the International Association of Athletics Federation.
A spokesman confirmed to CNN that Cuba would now take Nigeria’s place after athlete Tosin Adeloye tested positive for a banned substance.
“The news comes at the end of a tumultuous week in Nigerian athletics.
“First Nigerians were outraged to discover last week that some members of the national team had resorted to crowdfunding to pay for their flights to Rio, the result of an email from the Secretary General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria which asked athletes to pay their own way and be reimbursed at a later date.
“Dalong acknowledges existing problems but said that under his watch Nigerian sports will undergo total reform after the Games, one that is more private sector driven.
“There’s a committee that has been constituted for the past three months that will submit their report when we return from Rio, he said. “An entire overhaul of the sports architecture is what we have embarked on. This will go a long way in encouraging investment and opening the potential for sports development.”
Nigeria’s Patience Okon George finishes the qualifying round of the women’s 4×400 metres relay athletics event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
“Despite the challenges Onyali and Ajunwa are confident, that with the right structure, Nigeria has what it takes to become a powerhouse in athletics — if the new administration makes the right preparations after Rio. “We’re 170 million Nigerians and 70% of us are youth,” said Onyali.
If we have stadiums, even if it’s a six-lane track in every LGA [local government area] in Nigeria, there is no way we’re not going to surpass the Jamaicans and the Americans put together in talent,” she said.
“Nigerians are very resilient. Four years [until the 2020 Olympics] may be short to develop an elite athlete, but I believe we can.” (CNN)