Nigeria: AFN in the Dark Over Osayomi’s Return

Vanguard (Lagos)

28 May 2011

AFN in the dark over Osayomi’s returnNigerian athletics hope were rekindled last Sunday as sprinter Oludamola Osayomi returned her fastest time ever, a 10.99 which she did at the “Grande Prêmio Internacional Caixa São Paulo”, an Area Permit Meeting that is part of the 2011 Brazilian Athletics Tour.

Osayomi was some fraction short of the 10.90 seconds African record held by Gloria Alozie since 1999. But rather than celebrate the athlete who is making a come back from a six months drugs suspension, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN officials are claiming ignorance of the athlete’s return to the tracks after the dent done to her career at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games where she tested positive to stimulants.

“We don’t know anything about her come back to the tracks . The AFN has not received any information from the IAAF and as such she could be prevented from competing here,” said a member of federation’s doping committee.

But he acknowledged that Osayomi being in the USA must have done her reinstatement test and could have been cleared to run

“She is in the USA and it was possible she did her reinstatement test. It was up to her to let the federation know about her progress.”

Osayomi in an interview had told of how the AFN abandoned her after her dope ordeal in New Delhi.

However, she took her fate into her hands and championed her comeback. The race in Brazil was their fourth this season.

Pump money into athletics, Lee Evans tells NSC

Former Olympic champion and world record holder in the 400m, Lee Evans has urged the National Sports Commission, NSC to fund athletics in Nigeria if the country hopes to catch up with the rest of the world in the sport.

Evans who is one of the coaches on the Cross River Comprehensive Sports development project stated that Nigeria is lagging behind in the sport because over the years too much attention has been paid to football at the detriment of other sports.

“Jamaica has been organising school sports programme for decades and this why is they are dominating the sport. In the past Nigeria had athletes that came from the school sports system, but now we don’t have such programmes going on.

“They said football is the number one sport, but that does not mean athletics should be neglected, it is not an expensive sport to run.

“In football they spend a lot of money paying players and bribing referees. But in athletics there is nothing like that, we don’t need millions of naira to get the sport going,” said coach Evans.

He added that the Cross River Programme in the next five years would produce quality athletes that the country can be proud of.

“We have seen some talents here and it would take about five years to mould them into international athletes. We are doing everything to keep these athletes on track,” he said.

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