WADA Clears Nigeria of Anti doping rules Non-compliance

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says it has signed off on all outstanding critical and high priority corrective actions required of Nigeria following its review of the National Antidoping Committee, NADC’s continuous monitoring programme, corrective action plan and its efforts to address same.

This piece of good news is contained in two separate letters dated August 2nd and 4th, 2021 and addressed to NADC.

The first letter reads, “Following the review of your continuous monitoring programme, corrective action plan and your responses to address the required critical and high priority corrective actions, we are pleased to inform you that WADA has concluded that your organisation has appropriately addressed all critical corrective actions.”

The second letter specifically addressed to the head of NADC, Dr Fadekemi Fadeyibi delivered the main news.

“Following the latest developments, we have signed off in the CCC the remaining critical corrective action. Therefore the relevant compliance procedure has now been closed.”

By implication, Nigeria has satisfactorily addressed all the non-conformities identified with its national anti-doping programme and code compliance which led to the country’s delisting by WADA on 6th December, 2018.

Although WADA reinstated Nigeria shortly after following its recognition of some initial steps taken by NADC, the implementation of these corrective actions were deemed outstanding until the recent acknowledgment of satisfactory implementation by WADA.

Nigeria was declared a non-compliant code signatory in December 2018 for deficiencies identified in NADC’s national anti-doping programme and required to implement some critical corrective actions.

What is left now is for a legislative backing. The House Representatives Committee on Sports will be holding a public hearing to address the non-eligibility of 10 Nigerian athletes to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July and August.

The committee has been enjoined to expedite action on the establishment of a legislatively backed National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) which remains the key outstanding action required to elevate Nigeria’s code compliance and make Nigeria’s anti-doping administration comparable with key NADOs in the African region namely the South African and Kenyan NADOs.

The committee has also invited the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare to come and shed light on what happened in Tokyo but athletics watchers are asking the committee to also invite the immediate past board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria recognised by both World Athletics and the Athletics Integrity Unit as the governing body for track and field in Nigeria to come and explain why it neither appointed a qualified anti-doping officer nor set up an anti-doping committee for four years.