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How Super Eagles avoided WADA suspension to participate in 2023 AFCON – Sports Minister Reveals

Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has disclosed the steps taken by the Federal Government to prevent the suspension of Nigerian athletes by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), allowing the Super Eagles to participate in the 2023 African Nations Cup (AFCON).

According to an exclusive report by BSNSPORTS, WADA had threatened to suspend Nigerian athletes from international sports competitions in 2023 due to the country’s failure to comply with anti-doping procedures. In response, the Nigerian government implemented several measures to address WADA’s concerns and avoid suspension.

According to the Minister, these measures included increasing the staff of the National Anti-doping Committee (NADO) and presenting a WADA bill before the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

These actions demonstrated the government’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of sports and ensuring Nigerian athletes compete fairly on the international stage.

Senator Enoh emphasized the importance of proactive steps to address potential issues related to anti-doping, underscoring Nigeria’s determination to avoid suspension and allow the Super Eagles to participate in the 2023 AFCON.

The successful avoidance of suspension ensured Nigeria’s presence in the tournament, where they secured a silver medal after losing to the host nation, Cote D’Ivoire, in the final.

Reflecting on the significance of these actions, the Minister highlighted the potential consequences of a suspension on Nigerian sports, particularly on the reputation of the country and its athletes. He underscored the importance of government intervention in addressing anti-doping issues and ensuring the continued participation of Nigerian athletes in international competitions.

Senator Enoh concluded by expressing gratitude for the support received from various stakeholders in implementing the necessary measures to avoid suspension and enable the Super Eagles’ participation in the prestigious AFCON tournament.

He said: “Since 2018 when Nigeria athletes suffered bans from WADA and things continued to linger in this manner till now.

Now, I became the first Minister to formally present to FEC the WADA bill which has not got to FEC before now.

“There are issues about the staffing of the National Anti-doping Committee (NADO) which we presently has with the Ministry of Sports and I was able to get from the Head of Service (HoS) full staffing and redeployment.

” While this was going on, there are issues of being getting ban (by WADA) since last year. If we didn’t make the moves that we did, Nigeria’s Super Eagles wouldn’t have participated in the 2023 AFCON hosted by Cote D’Ivoire.

“You can imagine how bad that would have been on us all.” He concluded.

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