Nigeria’s chances of successful competition at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics have suffered a major setback after the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) ruled that ten Nigerian athletes are ineligible to participate.
The athletes were ruled ineligible due to failure to meet the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules for ‘Category A’ federations.
‘Category A’ federations are those that are deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport.
This was revealed in a statement released by the AIU, an independent Athletic body charged with managing all issues of integrity, including doping and non-doping cases.
The AIU revealed that a total number of 18 athletes were ruled ineligible to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, with Nigeria accounting for the majority, with 10 athletes. The names of the athletes were not released in the statement.
A major requirement of Rule 15 is that “an athlete from a ‘Category A’ country must undergo at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests (urine and blood) conducted no less than 3 weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event.
Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games.”
FG diversifying sports to enhance youth empowerment: Minister
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, says the federal government will explore all possible avenues for more youths participation in sports to empower them to become self-employed.
“This move is in line with the present administration’s policy thrust, which is geared towards making the teeming Nigerian youths entrepreneurial,” Dare said when he received the executive director of Hand-To-Hand Sports Federation of Moscow, Sorgai Poroshin.
Mohammed Manga, a spokesman for the ministry, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, received Poroshin on Dare’s behalf.
“The ministry will put up workable modalities which will make Nigeria not to only key into programmes by Hand-To-Hand Sports but also open up more doors for our youths’ involvement in the various fields of sports worldwide,” Dare was quoted as saying.
The minister urged Nigerian youths to keep themselves abreast of news about the various policies, programmes and initiatives of the present administration.
He said this would enable them to take advantage of every available opportunity to better their lives.
Earlier, Poroshin said he was in the ministry to introduce the hand-to-hand game to the country.
He said the sport had been in existence in the past 16 years and has 38 countries on its membership list.
“The countries include Ghana, and there is the need for Nigeria to see the possibility of keying into it in view of its position as the giant of Africa.
“Nigeria’s acceptance of the game will further open a new horizon for the country’s youths to make their mark in the group of sports-loving countries,” Poroshin added.
Tears flow as curtain comes down on Federer’s glittering career
Roger Federer’s trophy-laden career ended with defeat on Friday, but for once the result hardly mattered as the Swiss maestro headed into retirement with tears in his eyes and cheers ringing in his ears.
With a sellout crowd of 17,500 at London’s O2 Arena willing him on, the 20-time Grand Slam champion returned after more than a year away to play tennis.
He played alongside Rafa Nadal, the Spaniard with whom he shared one of tennis’s most captivating rivalries.
With the clock past midnight, Federer could have sealed victory in the Laver Cup doubles clash when he served at match point in a tense deciding tiebreak.
But it was not to be as Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe ripped up the script.
Sock thumped a forehand winner and sealed a 4-6 7-6 11-9 win for Team World.
After a brief moment of stunned silence around the packed arena, the crowd rose to salute the 41-year-old Federer, whose elegance, charisma and sportsmanship has graced tennis and transcended sport during a 24-year career.
Federer produced moments of his trademark magic during a fiercely contested duel and kept his emotions in check.
But the tears flowed afterwards as Ellie Goulding sang while a montage of Federer’s feats was projected on the black court.
When he was hugged by wife, Mirka, children Leo, Lenny, Myla and Charlene, and his parents Lynette and Robert, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.
“We’ll get through this somehow. It’s been a wonderful day.
“I told the guys I’m happy, not sad,” said Federer, who announced last week that this would be his final event after struggling to overcome a knee injury.
“I enjoyed tying my shoelaces one more time, everything was the last time,” he added. “Playing with Rafa and having all the greats here, all the legends.”
Federer broke down as he thanked his wife.
“She could have stopped me a long, long time ago but she didn’t. She kept me going and allowed me to play, so it’s amazing – thank you,” he said.
Federer’s eagerly anticipated final bow came after British favourite Andy Murray had battled against Australian Alex De Minaur for two and a half hours, but lost.
Murray’s two Wimbledon titles made him a national sporting icon, but the night was all about Federer – a player who resides in the pantheon of sporting greats with the likes of Pele, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.
Even his practice sessions here have been standing-room-only affairs, and an electric atmosphere greeted him as he walked out into the cavernous arena alongside Nadal just after 10:00 p.m.
“I’ve done this thousands of times, but this one feels different. Thank you to everybody who’s coming tonight,” Federer posted on Twitter earlier in the day.
The crowd included Australian great Laver – the man who inspired Federer to create the team competition being staged in London for the first time.
Loud cheers accompanied Federer and Nadal, or ‘Fedal’ as they are nicknamed, on to the court and The Clash’s London Calling boomed out as they warmed up.
An even bigger roar went up when Federer punched away a volley in the opening game – his first competitive shot since defeat by Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon last year ended his dream of a record-extending ninth title on Centre Court.
During changeovers video screens showed iconic moments of Federer’s career with tributes from Nadal and his mother.
But this was no exhibition match.
American duo Sock and Tiafoe, pantomime villains for the night, tested Federer’s reactions with some lusty blows aimed at the Swiss maestro.
Federer was equal to pretty much everything, his silky shot-making and nimble footwork on show despite a long time away from the court.
The iconic pair, with a combined age of 77 and 42 Grand Slam titles between them, edged the opening set by breaking Tiafoe’s serve. But The Americans levelled as Federer and Nadal began to fade.
Chants of “Let’s go, Roger, let’s go” resounded around the packed stands in the championship tie break as Federer and Nadal clawed their way towards a victory the occasion demanded.
Even the tennis gods could not intervene to allow Federer one last victory, but nothing could take the gloss off a night to celebrate a player who led tennis into a golden era.
“It still feels like a celebration for me and that’s exactly what I hoped for,” said Federer, who scaled unprecedented heights and rewrote the record books.
“It’s been a perfect journey and I will do it all over again.”
Delta 2022: Organisers postpone 21st National Sports Festival
The date for the 21st National Sports Festival has been pushed back from November to December 2022, over inability to get ready facilities for the competition.
This disclosure was made in a letter by secretary of the main organising committee, Peter Nelson, to commissioners and sports directors in all states of the federation and the FCT.
“I wish to convey the request of Delta state Government to shift the date of the 21st National Sports Festival, earlier scheduled to hold from 2nd to 15th November 2022, is now shifted to commence on 28th November to 10th December,2022.
“The postponement is to give more time to complete some facilities for the festival. We regret any inconvenience this might have caused you.
“While thanking you all for your cooperation, Please accept the Sporting regard of the Chairman Main Organizing Committee (MOC),” the letter read.
The scheduled 13-day long event is tagged “Delta22”.
Often referred to as the “Nigeria mini Olympics”, it is a biennial multi-sports tournament organised by the federal government through the National Sports Commission, for athletes from all the 36 states of the country to compete against one another.
In July, the official logo and mascot named UZO were unveiled by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
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