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NOC Denies Congratulating AFN On 2019 IAAF World Championships Bronze Win

NOC Denies Congratulating AFN On 2019 IAAF World Championships Bronze Win

The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has denied authoring a congratulatory message purportedly sent to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) after the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar last month.

Nigeria won a bronze medal courtesy of long jumper, Ese Brume and a congratulatory letter dated October 7, 2019 emerged in the social media, purportedly written by the NOC and signed by its president, Engr Habu Ahmed Gumel hailing the AFN president, Honourable Ibrahim Gusau ‘on the recent performance of the AFN at the just concluded Doha 2019 IAAF World

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In a swift reaction, the NOC has vehemently denied congratulating the AFN and disowned the letter in the social media purportedly signed by its president, Gumel.

The Committee revealed the only congratulatory message it sent to the AFN and other sports federations was the one that congratulated the federation(s) on the 10 gold medals (now nine after the IAAF stripped Olatoye Oyesade of her Shot Put medal for not meeting the eligibility conditions) won in the athletics event at the African Games in Rabat, Morocco last August.

”The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), as part of the tradition of the Olympic movement and solidarity wrote letters and sent to all federations that participated at the just concluded African Games in Morroco to congratulate and encourage them for their exploit at the Games,’ the NOC wrote in a press statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Phemmy Adetula.

The letter according to Adetula is a symbol of unity amongst the Olympic family which has the composition of the federations.

”The Nigeria Olympic Committee did not write nor issue any other congratulatory letter thereafter,” the statement added.

Athletics buffs had expressed concern over the congratulatory letter when it emerged over the weekend in the social media, wondering how the NOC could overlook the embarrassement, through sheer incompetence and ineptitude, caused by the AFN in Doha which led to the initial disqualification of sprinters, Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare from the championships after they both failed to appear for the 100m event after they had been duly registered by the AFN.

They (athletics buffs) are even questioning the congratulatory letter written to the AFN after the Games in Rabat when news filtered out that shot putter, Olatoye Oyesade has been stripped of the gold medal she won in the event and the bronze in the women’s Hammer throw.

IAAF had sent out notice on July 31, a clear 26 days before the athletics event of the African Games began in Rabat of Olatoye’s ineligibility to compete for Nigeria at the event.

This blunder by the AFN came 26 months after the disgrace at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia when Nigeria registered high jumper, Mike Edward for the Games despite a 2017 freezing order placed by the IAAF on transfer of allegiance.

Incredibly, the AFN was the only federation who claimed ignorance of the rule and Edward caused an embarrassing scene at the Games, accusing the IAAF president, Sebastian Coe and the IAAF of playing dirty.

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