Governor Peter Obi of Anambra
The Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the 18th National Sports Festival confirmed Monday that more trouble awaits Team Anambra who fielded a Cameroonian, John Baptis, to win three gold medals in the 77kg of the weightlifting event.
Secretary of the MOC, Abba Abdullahi Yola confirmed Monday that even as the gold medals have been withdrawn from Anambra and lifters who placed second upgraded to the first position, more sanctions would be imposed on Anambra for toeing the path of dishonour in using a non-Nigerian to fraudulently win the event.
Majinedum Seldum of Kaduna and Nasarawa’s Rabiu Ibrahim, who placed second and third respectively were awarded the gold and silver medals respectively.
“Those who resort to this kind of fraud surely know the implication of using a non Nigerian to compete for them. Bigger sanctions await the state, Director of Sport and the weightlifting coach who all indulge in the fraud,” observed the scribe.
He insisted that it was the duties of the state directors of sport and coaches to guard against this kind of thing capable of dragging the Games into disrepute.
“They are the ones who will furnish us with information regarding the importation of foreign athletes by other states in the festival. I also enjoin the athletes and coaches to be very vigilant in their various events.
"For a state to bring in a foreign athlete from Cameroun to compete in the sports festival is a clear indication of how states are so desperate to top the medals table in the National Sports Festival. They are not being fair to the festival and it has to stop," he admonished while reviewing the first week of the Eko 2012.
Meanwhile, the President of the Nigerian Weightlifting Federation, Chidi Ejiogu, Monday revealed how he caught the Cameroonian with his Blackberry mobile phone.
The NWF president said he had to act fast immediately it was brought to his attention that Anambra was not playing according to the rule of the Games.
“It was my federation that first discovered the fraud of the Cameroonian competing for Anambra. They had not finished the snatch event when the committee set up by the federation observed foul play and swiftly went to work,” said Ejiogu.
He said that he had to use his Blackberry to check the records only to discover that the weightlifter competed for Cameroon in the 2012 Olympic Games weightlifting qualifiers in Kenya.
That was how Kaduna filed their protest and it was promptly upheld.