Controversy dogs AFN over detention of athlete by SARS
• AFN probes Onome Nathaniel’s drug scandal
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is still probing the circumstances surrounding the drug scandal dogging one of the country’s most talented athletes in the women’s 400m Hurdles for the past two years, Glory Onome Nathaniel.
Nathaniel won gold medal for Team Nigeria at Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship, but was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) due to the presence of a prohibited substance, Stanozolol, in her system.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Nathaniel set a new Personal Best of 55.01secs in the semis and finished sixth in the final. She went on to grab a silver medal in the 4x400m relay.
But there is a new twist to Nathaniel’s drug issue, following the alleged detention of a sprinter, Blessing Ogundiran, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Ikeja, Lagos for allegedly putting the banned substance in Nathaniel’s food or drink during their camping in Asaba. Nathaniel’s coach, Akeem, a police officer, was said to have arrested Ogundiran, a 100m runner, accusing her of alleged “breaking and entering and attempted murder.”
The Guardian learnt that the police officer is alleging that Ogundiran put the banned substance in Nathanial’s food or drink during the Asaba 2018 championship.
“The mystery is that the banned substance that was found in Nathaniel’s system could only have been injected into her system. How come her coach is using his power as a police officer to detain another athlete under the pretense that she was responsible for the drug scandal? As we speak, Ogundiran has been in detention at SARS office in Ikeja for about 10 days,” a source said.
Contacted yesterday, the Technical Director of AFN, Sunday Adeleye told The Guardian that the federation had set up a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding Onome Nathaniel’s drug scandal, but claimed he was not aware of Ogundiran’s detention by SARS in Lagos.“The committee we set up to investigate Nathaniel’s drug issue is still working. But sincerely speaking, I am not aware of the detention of any athlete in Lagos. I will find out and get back to you.”
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