Nigeria owes me N44.5m, says jumper Tosin Oke
Triple jumper, Tosin Oke has alleged he was deprived of at least $146,500 (£112,923) by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) between 2010 and 2015.
Oke was included in Team Nigeria’s squad to the just concluded London 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championship, where he finished a disappointing 25th place despite his experiences,
In an interview published by BBCSports yesterday, Oke claimed he has repeatedly failed to receive significant funds due to him from Nigerian officials – primarily for training grants.
Oke feels the lack of medals at the London championship reflects a lack of support from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). The triple jumper alleges discrimination and the holding back of training funds from the AFN.
He also feels let down by the IAAF after complaining to the athletics’ governing body about his concerns.
According to the story, Oke had in December 2015 sent a 10-page statement to the IAAF in which he outlined his allegations of funds being withheld from athletes, as well as other claims about lax doping controls and mismanagement – all of which he largely blamed on then-AFN president, Solomon Ogba.
In his letter, Oke also hoped that its recipient – IAAF President Lord Coe – would find his “experiences serious enough to ask the right questions of the characters running the federation”.
The IAAF responded to Oke’s letter by sending a representative to meet the athlete, Ogba and the AFN’s general secretary in March 2016.
“Having spent time with both Mr. Oke and his federation [president and general secretary], the IAAF representative left reassured that the other issues canvassed by Mr. Oke would be resolved between them,” Huw Roberts, the IAAF’s Legal Counsel, told BBC Sport.
The IAAF did not confirm whether or not its representative had brought up the denial of funds at the meeting.
Ogba rejects the allegations saying: “The best thing is for him (Oke) to petition the government, who he claimed released money to the AFN,” he told BBC Sport.
“As a matter of fact, most of the monies he claimed to have received were my personal assistance to him and other athletes.” When contacted by the BBC, the Nigerian government declined to comment on this matter.
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