By Ayeotan Shola
Contrary to earlier reports online today, The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has debunked claims that Africa queen of the track and field, Blessing Okagbare, has been banned by the National Sports Commission from participating in the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.
In a statement signed by Olukayode Thomas, a member of the board of AFN and head of Communication and Media, the AFN described the report as false.
“Why would a reporter report that Okagbare has been banned from the Rio Olympics and will not attribute such an important story to a staff of NSC or AFN? The story is not true.”
Mr. Thomas said that Okagbare has not done anything that warrants the federation to ban her.
“Even if Okagbare has done something and we intend to punish her, the secretary General will first write her a letter inviting her to face disciplinary committee where she will defend herself against the allegation. After a fair hearing, the disciplinary committee will make a recommendation to the board, and the board will now decide”.
He also argued that the NSC headed by Alhassan Yakmut will not ban Okagbare without a fair hearing if she committed any offense.
“Okagbare has not done anything to warrant NSC to ban her, but even if she did, the Director General is former athlete and an astute administrator, he will follow due process,” said Mr. Thomas.