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Sports News of Sunday, 18 September 2022


Amidst doping allegations, Buhari refuses to reward 4x100m women relay team

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

Team Nigeria’s gold medal winning 4x100m women’s relay quartet from the last Commonwealth Games in Birmingham was conspicuously missing in the list of recipients for cash and national awards from President Muhammadu Buhari.

The winning quartet comprises Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Tobi Amusan and Grace Nwokocha, who has been provisionally suspended for allegedly using prohibited performance enhancing steroids.

The suspended Nwokocha ran the anchor leg as Team Nigeria won the gold ahead of England and Jamaica with a new African record of 42.10s.

However, because of the findings of the Athletics Integrity Unit, which earlier this month issued Nwokocha’s suspension because of the Presence/Use of Prohibited Substances (Ostarine and Ligandrol), both the gold medal and the African Record risk being thrown out.

President Buhari, at a reception held on Thursday, doled out N200 million to various categories of athletes for their performances at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships in Oregon.

The Women’s 4x100m Relay was not mentioned on the list that PREMIUM TIMES obtained, in contrast to the Men’s 4x100m Relay team that took third place, and were captured in Category D. They thus received N1.5 million and the National Honour of Federal Republic Medal One.

Nwokocha and her colleagues should have been captured in Category B, which was made of other Gold medallists from Birmingham.

Those in this category got N4.5m and Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) approved for them.

Tobi Amusan and Favour Ofili, who are part of the tainted relay quartet, still enjoyed Thursday’s largesse because of their other individual performances.

Amusan was in the Category A where she got N4.5m and Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) for her World record feat and multiple gold medals at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

For Ofili, her 200m Silver medal earned her a spot in Category C, where athletes were rewarded with N2.5m and the Federal Republic Medal One honour.

The B Sample of Nwokocha is still being expected to see if she would come clean and the gold medal and record would therefore remain, therefore it is unclear if the decision to leave out the relay team is based on confidential knowledge.

Though some analysts, based on precedence, suggest there is little to no chance of the B Sample returning a different outcome.