Nigerian athletics was in the news for the wrong reason again yesterday as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), said that the gold and bronze medals won by Sade Olatoye at the last African Games in Rabat, Morocco may be annulled.
The world athletics body said in a statement yesterday that Olatoye, a former USA junior athlete was not cleared by its Nationality Review Panel before switching alliance to Nigeria and competed for Team Nigeria at the African Games.
“In reference to the transfer of allegiance for Oyesade Olatoye, the final decision of the NRP has determined that the athlete was not eligible to represent Nigeria at the time of the 2019 African Games and that her results there have to be annulled,” the statement read.
Going by the revised IAAF rule, athletes now require a minimum of three years waiting period before they may transfer to represent another Member Federation. That is even hinged on the new country granting full citizenship.
Olatoye who won gold medal in the women’s shot put as well as a bronze medal in the hammer throw event now stands to lose both medals going by IAAF ruling.
The Ohio State University athlete who had previously competed as junior for the USA was not properly cleared in line with the revised IAAF rule before the Games in Morocco.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) was not involved in her clearance and did not bother to do due diligence to ascertain her eligibility before taking her to Morocco for the Games.
She engaged a lawyer to facilitate her clearance with her father’s consent.
Olatoye’s performance in Rabat qualified her for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Despite missing the two medals, she is now qualified to represent Nigeria at future games.
With the possibility of the withdrawal of the two medals by the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Nigeria will no longer be the champion of the track and field of the Games.
Kenya is now first with 10 gold, 7 silver and 3 bronze medals. Nigeria is now retroactively second with 9 gold, 6 silver and six bronze medals.
There was no official statement from the AFN on the matter as at press time last night.