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Tokyo Olympics: 14 African athletes suspended

These athletes have failed to comply with the rules on doping controls, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit.Dreams shattered! With…

These athletes have failed to comply with the rules on doping controls, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit.Dreams shattered! With less than 24 hours to go before the start of the Tokyo 2020 athletics events, the Integrity Unit (IAU) of World Athletics has excluded 14 representatives of the African continent from the competitions.

These athletes (10 Nigerians, 2 Kenyans, one Moroccan and one Ethiopian) have failed to pass the three out-of-competition doping tests required by World Athletics in the last ten months.

“Nigeria is the most impacted country, having failed to meet the (International Athletics Federation) Rule 15 (anti-doping) testing criteria for 10 athletes,” the IAU said.

Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and Nigeria are on an anti-doping watch list.

This decision has caused the ire of the athletes who have expressed their disappointment, especially their anger against their respective federations. On his Twitter account, the superstar of Nigerian athletics, Blessing Okagbare, who was not concerned by this decision, sent out a furious tweet on the subject.

“I have said it before and I will say it again. If you don’t know the sport, if you are not passionate about it/us (the athletes), then you have no business being there as an administrator. The sports system in Nigeria is so flawed and we athletes are always at the mercy of damage,” she wrote on the social network.

Her compatriot, African discus champion Chioma Onyekwere, the first person to be affected, called out World Athletics and the IAU: “Athletes are not at fault in this matter. Please, we need your help to know how we can clear this so that all ten of us can compete.”

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