By Mukwuzi Joseph
Nigeria athletes staged a protest in Tokyo after 10 of them were disqualified from taking part in the the track and field events of the on-going Olympic Games.
Recall that twenty athletes, including 10 from Nigeria, were disqualified from participating in track and field at the Olympics because they did not meet anti-doping testing requirements in the lead-up to the Games.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) which runs the anti-doping program for the sport, requires athletes from countries categorized as “high risk” because of deficiencies in their testing programs to be given three no-notice, out-of-competition tests in the 10 months leading to a major event.
Following the disqualification, the athletes took to the streets in Tokyo to make their feelings known.
The protesting athletes carried placards with inscriptions like:“Why should we suffer for someone else’s negligence”, “All we wanted to do was compete” and “We are not just alternates but potential medalists.”
Meanwhile, on Friday the duo of Blessing Okagbare and Grace Nwokocha qualified for the 100 metres semi-finals of their different heats.