GLASGOW – Gbenga Elegbeleye, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), says Team Nigeria will not be discouraged by the withdrawal of the gold medal won by Nigerian weightlifter Chika Amalaha.
Amalaha was suspended from the ongoing Commonwealth Games by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Friday for doping violation.
She was subsequently thrown out of the Games Village and her gold medal withdrawn from Nigeria’s medals haul.
Elegbeleye, however, told NAN in Glasgow on Friday that Amalaha’s gold medal was just one out of the eight won so far by the country at the ongoing Games.
“So far, we have won seven gold medals outside Amalaha’s medal. Our athletes are still competing and I hope we are going to win more medals, including gold.
“Other African countries have been commending Nigeria, saying that we are doing Africa proud, and we all saw Blessing Okagbare breaking the Commonwealth Games record in 100 metres.
“We have broken other records in weightlifting. We did so well in wrestling and won two gold medals in weightlifting.
“The para-powerlifting athletes will be competing from tomorrow (Saturday) and we are sure of winning gold medals there,’’ Elegbeleye said.
He however said efforts would be intensified henceforth to monitor the country’s athletes ahead of international competitions to ensure there was no recurrence.
The NSC Director-General said it was for the NSC to ensure that Nigerian athletes won fair all the time, adding “contesting in any competition free of drugs is a mark of modesty.
“I will not want us to be seen as a country involved in doping issues. We thank Nigerians for their co-operation, because our athletes have been doing well.’’
Team Nigeria has so far won seven gold, six silver and 13 bronze medals to stand in eighth place on the medals table.
One hundred and twenty-seven athletes are representing Nigeria in seven sports at the Commonwealth Games which began on July 23 and will end on Aug. 3.(NAN)