Olympic Committee to talk with athletes about drugs

by Mark Bassey

The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has announced that it will intensify its effort in educating and enlightening athletes on the demerits of using performance- enhancing substances.

The Secretary-General of the NOC, Mr Tunde Popoola, disclosed this in Lagos on Thursday, 2 October, saying that the body had held several talks with athletes to make them know that cheating was not part of sports.

Popoola said, “We always tell athletes not to use performance-enhancing drugs in sports, we tell them collectively and we also meet them one-on-one. Many talks had been organised, aimed at discouraging and stopping athletes from using banned substances, off course, it is a continuous exercise and we will keep doing it.It will only take some time to fully eradicate the issue but I strongly believe that it can be achieved.”

He, however, added that some of the athletes took the substances innocently and unknowingly.

“Some get introduced to it unknowingly, they were not told the truth on what the drug could do to them. Another thing is that people who are naturally corrupt cannot be changed because corruption has become part of their lives.”

Popoola advised young athletes to learn from the experiences of the athletes who indulged in taking banned substances, while urging budding athletes to discipline themselves against consuming banned substances.

“Their older colleagues who indulged in using banned substances are regretting it now. Unfortunately, the present generation of young athletes has not learnt a lesson from them. Disciplined athletes will not consider taking banned substances but will rather devote their efforts to their training.”

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