Nigeria’s 4x400m women relay team have been thrown out from next month’s Olympic Games in Brazil, by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
This disqualification is as a result of one of the team players, Tosin Adeloye’s positive drugs test at the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Super Grand Prix/Warri Relays in Warri, Delta State on July 24, 2015.
Adeloye was a member of the Nigerian quartet that finished fourth in Beijing August last year at the IAAF World Championships. She ran the third leg in the semi-finals where the team ran 3:23.27 seconds, the second fastest time in Nigeria’s all-time record.
She also ran the third leg in the final. Other members of the team were Regina Goerge who ran the first leg, Funke Oladoye who ran the second leg and Patience Okon-George who anchored the team to finish fourth.
Going by IAAF rules, Adeloye’s positive drugs test and subsequent ban for eight years means all the results she achieved from the period she tested positive, individually and jointly will be annulled.
However, the trio of Okon-George, Margaret Bamgbose and Omolara Omotosho who have been picked by the AFN may be in Rio after meeting the qualification standard for the open 400m, but Regina George, who has laboured to raise over $4,000 from the crowd-funding platform, Gofundme, is out as she did not meet the standard and will be in Rio only as a member of the relay team.
At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Nigeria’s male 4x400m relay team made up of late Sunday Bada, Enefiok Udo-Obong, Jude Monye, Clement Chukwu and Fidelis Gadzama profited from a similar scenario when Antonio Pettigrew, a member of the Team USA’s relay team tested positive for a banned substance. Nigeria had her silver win upgraded to gold 12 years after.
The IAAF has removed the times the Nigerian team ran in Beijing from the 2015 top list on its website.
Nigeria had qualified for the event based on the aggregate of the two fastest times achieved by the Okon-George’s led team in the qualification period from January last year to July this year.
Nigeria’s two fastest times (3:23.27 and 3:25.11) during the qualification period was achieved at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing which gave an average of 3:24.19 which made Nigeria the ninth fastest nation in the event going to Brazil.
Nigeria’s two other fast times of 3:29.94 achieved in Durban last month and the 3:31.27A achieved in Nairobi in April 2015 will not place among the best 16 nations eligible to compete in Rio.