The Athletics Integrity Unit has banned twenty athletes from participating in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, of which ten of them were Nigerians. The news was confirmed by the Integrity Unit via their official Twitter account on Wednesday, July 28th, 2021.
They banned the athletes from the Games because of non-compliance with the Out of Competition Testing ( OCT). According to the rule, an athlete from Category A country must at least undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests which include urine and blood test to be conducted not less than three weeks apart in the 10 months leading to a major event.
This decision is a colossal blow for Nigeria as the chances of winning medals at the Games are now more difficult. Out of the 23 Athletes registered for Athletics, only 13 are now eligible to compete in Tokyo.
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As of the time of reporting this news, only 11 Nigerians are on the entry list for the Athletics at Tokyo 2020, which starts on Friday, July 30, 2021. They currently list only 2 each for Mixed 4x400m for Friday, July 30, 2021, and Women’s 4x100m for Thursday, August 5th, 2021. Nigeria will have to draft two more athletes into each team to avoid failing to start both races.
The Integrity Unit is an independent body that was set up in 2017 to manage all the threats to the integrity of the sports of Athletics.