There is no denying Nigerian athletes are blazing the trail on national and global scenes, but in recent years, some of them have been caught up in the doping controversy.
In 2021, 10 Nigerian athletes were ruled ineligible for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for failing to meet the anti-doping testing requirements.
They were among 20 athletes from various countries who did not comply with the minimum number of tests required by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
There were different reactions to the banned Nigerian athletes, ranging from anger, disappointment, sympathy, and criticism.
Some of the athletes blamed their disqualification on negligence by the country’s sports administrators and took to the streets in Tokyo to protest the decision.
The then Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, apologized to the affected athletes and promised the ministry would conduct an investigation into the circumstances that led to their disqualification.
Some Nigerians on social media expressed their frustration and embarrassment over the ban and called for accountability and reform in the sports sector.
However, despite efforts to curb doping in Nigeria, many of the country’s athletes have been penalised for engaging in such unsportmanship activities.
Tobi Amusan has been in the eye of the storm for a while now for allegedly committing a whereabouts offence. Divine Oduduru is the latest to receive the hammer of the AIU.
Here are some top Nigerian athletes who have been banned for doping in recent years:
He is a sprinter who competed in the Tokyo Olympics. He was banned for six years for committing two doping violations.
He was found to possess and attempt to use prohibited substances such as human growth hormone, insulin growth factor, and erythropoietin.
His case was linked to that of his teammate Blessing Okagbare, who was banned for 11 years for using multiple prohibited substances and not cooperating with the investigation.
Adeloye, a former African junior 400m champion, was banned for eight years for testing positive for the anabolic steroid methenolone twice.
She was first banned for two years in 2012, and then again in 2015. She also represented Nigeria at the 2015 African Games, where she won a gold medal in the 4x400m relay.
Chukwuemeka is a shot putter who holds the Nigerian and African records in the event.
She was banned for life for testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol twice.
She was first banned for two years in 2009, and then again in 2012. She also competed in four Olympic Games from 2000 to 2012.
He is a sprinter who was little known. He was also banned for life for testing positive for the anabolic steroid methenolone twice.
He was first banned in 2012.
Chinazom Doris Amadi
She is a long jumper who won the gold medal at the 2015 African Games.
She was stripped of her medal and banned for four years after testing positive for methenolone.
Chika Joy Amalaha
She is a weightlifter who tested positive for methenolone and is banned until 2027 by the International Weightlifting Federation.
She had previously failed some tests during the 2014 Commonwealth Games and was temporarily banned from continuing the Games.
This is another sprinter who was also in the Tokyo Olympics but was suspended before her 100m semi-final.
She was banned for 11 years for doping and refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
She also solicited prohibited substances on behalf of Oduduru.