The Nigerian athletic contingent to the Rio 2016 Olympics have been charged by President Muhammadu Buhari to be worthy ambassadors of the country, by competing clean and fair at the Olympic Games.
The President, who was decorated by the Olympic body as the NOC Grand Patron, charged all athletes and team officials going to the Olympic Games to be worthy ambassadors, both on the field of play and outside the sporting arena, noting that the eyes of the global community would be on them and as such, they should desist from acts that could dent Nigeria’s image.
According to the President, the menace of drug use in sports is threatening the core foundation of sports and has led to embarrassing situations as well as sanctions of some great sporting nations.
He therefore urged them to keep the integrity of our nation intact by competing clean and fair at the Olympic Games and staying away from drugs and other acts that could bring disrepute to the country.
“Please bring as many medals back home as a result of your efforts and endeavour. But remember it is more important to compete and acquit your country as a fair sporting nation than to bring a pack of medals as a result of bending the rules and denying the games of fair competition.”
President Buhari also directed officials, who have no business in going to Brazil, to work for the athletes from home, adding, however, that those who insist on going to watch the games should be prepared to bear the cost.
The President reminded them of the nation’s dwindling revenue and the current global economic challenges, adding that it is therefore, imperative that funds provided for the games are utilized judiciously.
According to him, any official who has no business at the Games should stay at home to cheer the team from here and if they must travel to the Olympics, they should do so at their own expense.
He assured that the Federal Government was fully committed to the delegation’s successful participation in the Rio Olympic Games and will ensure that funds budgeted for the Games were released without further delay.