SWAN hails Reps’ move to probe Team Nigeria at Tokyo Olympics

The FCT chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has hailed the House of Representatives’ decision to look into the disqualification of 11 Nigerian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

Chairman of FCT SWAN, Bunmi Haruna, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja hailed the House leadership for taking the initiative to ask questions.

He said this would also help in proffering suggestions on how to prevent a recurrence of such shameful events at future Games.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the House had Wednesday appraised the disqualification of Blessing Okagbare and 10 other Nigerian athletes at the Tokyo Games over different doping violations.

It had then asked the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, to come and explain why Nigeria was outrightly disgraced before the world.

“We are happy that the leadership of the House has finally listened to the cries of Nigerians to probe the shameful acts which also saw the disqualified athletes protest in the streets of Tokyo.

“The events which happened in Tokyo are shameful and should not be allowed to be swept under the carpet, as if nothing happened,” the FCT SWAN Chairman said.

Haruna added that several Nigerians had been raising eyebrows as to why there had been no questions asked by the relevant bodies in charge of oversight functions.

“Everywhere we went, people kept asking why 10 Nigerian athletes got disqualified at the Olympics and the persons who are supposed to provide the answers have been walking the streets of Abuja freely as if nothing happened.”

He however warned that the move by the House of Representatives must not only be thorough and far-reaching, it must also be deep and result-oriented.

“We hope this will not be just another enquiry. We hope the House can get to the root of the events which happened before and during the Olympics to forestall future occurrences and a waste of tax-payers money,” Haruna stated.

NAN reports that while moving the motion on Wednesday at plenary, Babatunde Ayeni, representing Ijesha South Federal Constituency, had lamented the incident of July 20.

That was when the Athletics Integrity Unit of the World Athletics had barred 10 Nigerian athletes from the Games for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing.

Highly-rated Blessing Okagbare was also a few days later suspended from the Games for the use of banned substances.

“The House is concerned that in spite of the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests.”Ayeni had said.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, has since mandated the Committee on Sports to investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test to forestall future occurrence.

NAN reports that the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, had also promised to probe the incident at the Tokyo Olympics, but he was yet to do so.