Army/Anti-doping Committee collaborate to stamp out doping in Nigerian sports
The Nigerian Army and the National Anti-doping Committee have agreed to double up efforts and collaborate to stamp out doping in Nigerian sports.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai made this pledge on Tuesday when he played host to the Committee led by Mr Kazeem Olarenwaju at the Army Headquarters in Abuja.
Buratai who was represented by the Army’s Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Major General Francis Okwidili Azinta said, “We encourage sports. We maintains zero tolerance for doping and substance abuse.
“We haven’t experienced doping in sport in Nigerian army. During recruitment, we send a message of no substance abuse.
“We are already partners,” noting that sport is very important and must be carried out with fair play and ethical behaviour.
“The job you are doing in making sure you are creating a level playing field for all athletes for clean sport, striving to protect the cherish image of Nigeria in sporting arena. We are very keen in partnering with you to maker sure sport in Nigeria is as clean as anything.
Speaking on the purpose of the visit, Olarenwaju said was “to seek the collaboration of your esteemed organization as a significant stakeholder in the constant fight against the menace of doping in sports more especially as we prepare our athletes for a successful and dope free participation at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics coming up July to August 2020.
“Within the NAP we have activities of a continuous nature, which we are hoping to pursue with the support of all stakeholders.
He explained that to implement anti-doping education component of the NAP, NADC is seeking to build the anti-doping capacity of various sport stakeholders across the Federation with the goal of creating and raising anti-doping awareness for a sustainable dope-free culture among athletes for which the Nigerian Army has produced many of these athletes.
“I cannot fully underscore the importance of Nigeria implementing a robust and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code compliant National Anti-Doping Programme as Nigeria suffered the embarrassing consequences of this in December 2018 when Nigeria was delisted by WADA, the world antidoping governing body, for the deficiencies identified with our NAP.
“Concerted efforts by well-meaning stakeholders saw to Nigeria’s early reinstatement, which we are here to solicit the support of the Nigerian Army also in sustaining.”
He said there was an urgent need to focus much more on helping athletes train and compete clean by reinforcing and instilling core values into athletes in line with national anti-doping rules through drug testing and education.
“I am thus assured that the importance of protecting Nigeria sports from the menace of doping is one you will well appreciate personally. I therefore, hope that NADC has sought and found a strategic stakeholder in the Nigerian Army to collaborate with.”
Similarly, a delegation from the Nigerian Policing Programme was at the Army Headquarters on a courtesy call.
Leader of the delegation, Kemi Okenyodo explained that it was necessary to visit in order to explain how the collaboration with the Army went regarding Army/Police relationship.
She said while the programme would end soon, the collocation was fruitful and enjoined the Army to keep the areas of collaborations that have been created alive to attain results.
Responding, Major General Azinta who received the delegation on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff promised that the areas of engagements would remain open.
He said the Army cherished the period of engagement and encouraged further future collaboration.