National Athletics coach and Statistician, Olalekan Shoetan says failed Sports administration rather than Athletes are the main culprits of Sports doping.
The latest case is Divine Oduduru, who has been suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit over his involvement with the banned Blessing Okagbare.
In an exclusive interview with BRL, Shoetan suggested that the Nigerian Athletes who have been fingered in the case are the real victims.
“I won’t call them culprits, It’s a system, they don’t see it as something bad. They have been doing it and have never been caught and nobody is getting punished for it so it is not a crime,” the Coach said.
“Divine has always been a talented Athlete, he got to US and I can tell you that it is a norm that when you go to the NCAA they don’t readily test their athletes.
“When you come from Nigeria where testing is hardly ever done, and you get to a system where You’re not really tested, then you are giving room for Athletes to cheat.”
“So this isn’t a Divine Oduduru problem, but a problem of top Nigerian Athletes who are desperate to make it, because when you mention his name and point fingers, we are throwing him under the bus so quickly.
“He is still under suspension by the AIU; he is the one labelled as Person B in Okagbare’s case, but then have we investigated the true situation? When that happened did the AFN investigate if he really did those things, now he has been left alone to fight his own battle.”
“We keep naming athletes when in reality it is the system that is corrupt, the system that allows top athletes to compete without getting tested until AIU insisted that we are in category A and our athletes must be tested three times out of competition unnoticed.
“When you give Athletes notice of a planned testing it is no longer a no-notice, it is now noticed, so athletes will go to competitions knowing they will get tested and that they will be free. But during their build-up, their training, during the off-season you let them be, you don’t test them often, now you are kind of telling them how to cheat.”
“When Athletes cheat from the beginning; by lying about their ages, nobody checkmates them, what do you expect? They will move to the next level.
“So because of this, I won’t label any particular Athlete as a cheat, I will say the system is encouraging cheating, so we go back to AFN. what have they been doing?”
“How many Athletes were tested during the National Sports Festival, when you are not testing them, you are telling them there are ways to manipulate things.”
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