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No participation in African Games, no Olympics, Adesola warns athletes

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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Olusade Adesola has told athletes to consider their inclusion in the team to the 12th African Games holding in Morocco as ‘a great privilege.’

He also warned the athletes that any of them that chose to stay away from the African Games would not be considered for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Addressing the athletes in Abuja yesterday, Adesola reminded them that “it is indeed a great privilege that you are counted among the few sportsmen that would champion Nigeria’s cause in Morocco,” he said.

Adesola was emphatic when he said the payment of athletes’ allowances would be made only at the Games and not upfront. He reminded the athletes on the subsisting regulation established in 2015 that ‘No Brazzaville, No Rio,’ which he explained to mean, ‘No participation at the African Games, No participation in the Olympics.’“The imperative of the axiom derives from the fact that the African Games serves as qualifier for some sporting events to the Olympics. I want to assure that the ministry would co ntinue to support the efforts of our athletes as resources permit,” he stated.

Adesola acknowledged the patriotism of foreign-based athletes, some of who, he said, shuttled a number of times to and from Nigeria in their quest to wear the national colour initially at own cost. He believed that Nigeria would win medals from athletics, badminton, weightlifting and taekwondo; among other sports the country is dominating in the continent.

He however charged the athletes to avoid doping infractions, shun self-medication to avoid failing dope test. He also advised coaches and technical directors against inducing the athletes or encouraging them to dope in the quest to win medals. He disclosed that Team Nigeria would field 462 athletes and accompanying officials, including the medical and administrative support staff.


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