Former Nigeria track star and athletes development Coach, Uruemu Adu has debunked insinuations from some quarters that Damola Osayomi should be blamed for taking performance enhancing drugs to buster her performance in the ongoing Commonwealth Games in India
While commanding Osayemi for giving her best, the Delta born coach maintained that kudos should be given to Team Nigeria for the splendid performance put on so far which he attributed to sheer determination from the athletes.
Reacting to the suspension and stripping of medal from Osayemi and suspension of Nigeria 110m men huddler, Samuel Okon, Uruemu stressed that people should take a cursory look at the cause behind athletes taking performance enhancing drugs.
Speaking with naijaathleticsblogsport.com, the former athlete expressed displeasure on the action of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the National Sports Commission for putting so much pressure on the athletes without adequate support.
Uruemu also lambasted the AFN for placing most of the athletes on probation, which he says was a bad idea that can lead to anything from the athletes.
“Nobody should blame Osayomi for what happened to her, though I am not in support of athletes taking drugs from the counter without proper specifications from a reliable pharmacist, but I am not happy with the Sports Ministry and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on this issue.
“There is no country that will not want the best from its athletes in every given tournaments. Our athletes will stand tall among the best in the world, but placing most of them on probation by the Athletics federation of Nigeria (AFN), was a bad idea, which like I said can lead to anything from the athletes.”
On the performance of the men 4x100m race, Uruemu said: “What happened was as a result of bad planning from the AFN. Dropping the men’s team was a bad idea which backfired in India, though he said a quick arrangement was made to fly extra athletes for the men’s team, but lack of understanding made the team to fail due to poor baton handling during the heat.”
He attributed the feat of Team Nigeria in the ongoing Commonwealth Games in India as a sheer determination from the athletes, who are ever ready to make Nigeria proud in international championships.
It would be recalled that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently loosened the classification of Methylhexaneamine for next year to the "specified stimulant" list, which covers drugs that are more susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties.
Sanctions for use of the drug can be reduced if athletes can prove they did not intend to enhance performance. Penalties can range from a warning to a two-year ban.
WADA said Methylhexaneamine was sold as a medicine until the early 1970s and has now reappeared in some nutritional supplements and cooking oils.
“We ourselves are concerned by the number of incidents that has cropped up with this same substance,” Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell said, noting that the change to WADA list does not go into effect until next year.
“Each year on the first of January, it becomes effective a new list. We are operating on the 2010 list," Fennell said. "Whatever changes were made this year will be effective next year, but we are operating under the 2010 list.”