States maintain status quo as Rivers slip to seventh position
• Some states lose medals
After ‘thorough investigation’ of the allegation that some states were awarded more medals than they earned at the 2022 National Sports Festival hosted by Delta State, it has emerged that most of the states actually earned their positions on the final medals table.
Rivers State, however, dropped from sixth to seventh position, according to a source close to the committee set up by the sports ministry to investigate allegations of medals padding at the festival.
At the end of the 21st National Sports Festival, some states raised the alarm that the number of medals awarded to them was more than what their athletes actually won.
This prompted Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, to set up the committee.
The Guardian learnt yesterday that Team Rivers was one of the states that ‘benefited’ from the medals padding scandal.
According to the official, all other states, including Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, Oyo and Lagos, still maintain their original positions on the final medals table.
“What some people refer to as medal padding was actually a miscalculation on the part of officials involved in collating the medals. Now, all those states still maintain their position from the first to the fifth position, even though they lost some medals.
“Maybe, next time, technical officials in the various sports federations will be involved in collating the medals for an accurate figure,” the official stated.
The Guardian recalls that Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, was among officials, who blew the whistle on the alleged medals padding at the end of Delta 2022 National Sports Festival.
“I was told verbally that my protest warranted an inquest, which led to the discovery of some discrepancies.
“At that point, I was vindicated, but a proper job was not done because they only touched on two states.
“But when the Games’ secretary appeared on television to explain the discrepancies, he didn’t mention those that were involved and the punishment meted out to them. They did not even respond to me on the outcome of my petition.
“Much as I believe in the National Sports Festival, the last edition lost its integrity with the rogue award of medals termed padding. Medals were not only manufactured, but were conjured. It was a big shame,” he declared.