By Dorcas Jonah
Abuja – The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Tuesday, assured that Nigeria would comply with mandatory provisions of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code to guard against sanctions.
Dalung said at a 2-day Anti-Doping Seminar for Presidents and Secretaries of Sports Federations in Abuja, that Nigeria’s compliance with the code would insulate it from WADA’s sanctions.
The seminar was organised by the sports ministry in collaboration with the National Anti-doping Committee.
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“The issue of doping has to do with protecting the integrity of competition in Sports. Nigeria athletes must ensure that they do not engage themselves in activities or institutional attitude that will be in violation of the lay down code of compliance.
“We have very good and talented athletes but in every competition, we should compete freely, fairly and transparently which is the spirit of competition.
“The essence of this seminar is to comply with the mandate requirement of compliance statue of Nigeria as required by WADA that is, holding of regular information and education of stakeholders.
“Today we have secretaries of federations, sports administrators and presidents, these are the key actors’ involve in identification, training, nurturing and presentation of athletes so they must be familiar with the rules first.
“Sometimes, some of them even encourage these young and innocent athletes into some of these drugs that are prohibited just to ensure that they win at all cause.
“Nigeria is not interested in winning at all cause but Nigeria is interested in winning fairly and honestly.’’
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Dalung said that the seminar was organised as part of concerted efforts to further Nigeria’s pursuit of full-code compliant status.
He said that the seminar was one of the many preventive anti-doping measures being strongly advocated by WADA.
Dalung said that the seminar was focused on building the capacity of presidents and secretaries of sports federations by meeting their anti-doping education needs.
He said that the seminar would equip them with adequate and up-to-date anti-doping information that would facilitate their roles in promoting and sustaining value-based anti-doping culture.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Adesola Olusade, had said that doping had assumed a focal position of interest in global sports, especially with the recent and growing high profile cases in doping.
“Doping is unethical; it is simply cheating and is capable of undermining the intrinsic values of sports and should not be given place of acceptance to fester in any sport.
“It is for these reasons that anti-doping has become an integral part of sports and a convergence point for international and national stakeholders alike, to advance measures to tackle it.
Francis Orbih, the President, Badminton Federation of Nigeria, said that the seminar was a welcome development as it would avail sports stakeholders the information they needed to know regarding anti-doping.
He commended the ministry and the anti-doping committee for organising the seminar.
He urged athletes to shun performance-enhancing drugs.
According to him, the athletes are capable of achieving success honourably, using their God-given strength. (NAN)