Sports Minister Meets NOC, Anti-Doping Committee On WADA Challenges
By Lekan Sowande, Abuja.
Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh has met with members of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Anti-Doping Committee on the challenges regarding compliance with the standards of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Speaking at the meeting held on Thursday at the Minister’s office inside the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, Enoh reiterated the Government’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria is given its rightful place in global sports.
Enoh highlighted the need for athletes to compete clean in both local and international competitions, as well as meet the standards set by WADA. He said he is working for the success of both the Federal Government and the Ministry.
The Sports Minister pledged to do everything in his capacity to ensure Nigeria complies with WADA’s conditions, to avoid athletes getting sanctioned ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
He assured that he will intensify efforts to ensure correctional measures are taken to timely meet WADA’s rules and regulations, as well as other corrective actions that will address extended non-conformity and other critical issues.
The Minister directed the Committee to draw up programmes that will support government in domesticating the United Nations Convention and ensure that other requirements needed for adequate compliance to doping regulations are met for the cleanliness of Nigerian athletes, in and outside competition cycle.
Earlier, the Chairman of National Anti-Doping Committee, Prof. Ken Anugweje applauded the Minister for his inclusive administration where all sectors of the ministry are carried along.
He stated that the major challenges confronting the Committee is funding and lack of sufficient trained personnel. He appealed to Minister Enoh to assist them in employing more trained officers that will enhance their capacity to meet the prerequisite of WADA and as well, fill up all operational loopholes.
In another remark, the President of the NOC, Habu Gumel informed the Minister that WADA signatories have periodically threatened the country as a result of non-compliance to their rules.
While commending the Minister for his positive start to repositioning sports in the country, Gumel used the opportunity to remind him that Nigeria is yet to pass the WADA Act of Parliament into law and appealed to him to ensure that the bill is passed.
The Director of Anti-Doping, Fadeke Fadeyibi in her remarks, assured the Minister of the Committee’s support to ensure the country is ranked as one of the best in anti-doping compliance in the world. She added that with the determination of the Minister to solve the problems in the agency, the nation is on the right pedestal.