The Nasarawa State Government, has advised coaches and athletes against intake of banned substances and performance enhancing drugs.
Amb. Lucky Isaac, the State Commissioner for Youths and and Sports Development gave the advice on Friday
at a one day anti-doping seminar for Coaches and Athletes in Lafia.
Isaac said the programme was both deliberate and imperative, considering the negative effects of doping on the life of an athlete and the impact in the society.
According to him, government was taking proactive measures to prevent doping among athletes and would not tolerate any athlete or coach that encouraged the intake of banned substances.
“The penalties will be very severe from us before the necessary agencies take up their own sanctions.”
“This programme is the brainchild of the ministry, and the aim is to create awareness and sensitise our coaches and athletes to the danger of taking performance enhancing drugs
“You are all aware of how many great athletes have been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, (WADA) because such athletes took substances that aided their performances.
“Such ugly development brought shame and embarrassment to the athletes, families, federation, and their country as a whole.
“The world is seriously against the intake of steroids for podium appearance. Not only that, illicit intake of drugs can be detrimental to the life of an athlete, and this could in turn, affect how the society operates.
“Using your natural abilities is the best way to celebrate success.
Isaac urged the participants to pay adequate attention to Resource persons and what would be taught at the seminar.
He thanked the state government under the leadership of Gov. Abdullahi Sule, for approving funds for the programme.
The commissioner restated the ministry’s commitment to give adequate attention to sporting activities in the state.
“As a ministry, we will continue to create level-playing ground for our sports men and women to thrive and excel, ” he said.
Proponent of the initiative and Director, Planning, Research and Statistics of the Ministry, Mr Ubah Musa, disclosed that the need to compete clean and protect the state’s athletes and coaches during competitions informed the motive of the seminar.
He stressed that more of such programmes would be hosted in the future to place the state in the comity of states with disciplined and clean athletes and coaches.
Respondng, Bashir Bassey, who spoke on behalf of the coaches, thanked the ministry for the initiative.
He pledged to do all within their powers to ensure strick adherence and clean participation in sporting events.
Some of the athletes who participanted, Esther Obile and Godiya Dogara said the programme taught them a lot and made them to understand precautionary steps to take to avoid falling victims of doping.
They said they would continue to work hard under favourable conditions to dominate podium appearances.
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