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DALUNG ASSURES ON AFRICAN ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP

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The Federal government is committed to hosting and providing  a safe environment for the African Senior Athletics Championship billed for Asaba, Delta state in August next year.

Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youth and Sports made the remark when the Local Organising Committee paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

He said that other arms of security will be involved to compliment efforts of the state government during the games.

“Nigeria is committed to hosting and providing a safe and secure environment to host Africa and the world and we will compliment the efforts of the state government.

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“Delta is a coastal city and therefore will require more of marine security arrangements. We will engage the Chief of Defence staff for very good complementary support.”

He thanked the Governor of Delta State Dr Ifeanyi Okowa for his support to sports development in the country and called on other sports governors to emulate Delta state government.

“We have many Sports Federations and nothing stops each state Government from adopting a sport, federation or games. Delta State assisted us with the National Youth Games. Rivers state will  host the African Wrestling Championship and Bayelsa has also hosted Wrestling in the past.”

Dalung stated that hosting of the African Athletics Championship in Asaba will change the economic fortunes of the state.

“Economy of Delta and Nigeria will not remain the same. We are going to host 54 countries. Tourism will be strengthened and there will be creation of employment for the youths.

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“There will be building of networks of relationships that will be sustainable. The economy of the state and Nigeria will be strengthened through the influx of people and movement of wealth and resources from one place to the other. It may be challenging initially but it will pay to host” Dalung said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the LOC Chief Solomon Ogba briefed the Minister on how far the LOC has gone in its preparations.

“The state government has released N1.9b because we want to host the best games in Africa.

The Governor has given us 10 Marcopolo buses to refurbish. We have concluded arrangements with GAC Motors to give us 100 Protocol vehicles for our top dignitaries. The Governor will sponsor three people heading transport, accommodation and accreditation to the Commonwealth Games to understudy them and see how it’s done.

“We need 820 rooms but we have secured 1200 rooms. We have also set up a technical committee for the competition headed by the Technical committee of the federation to ensure a good outing at the Games”.

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Delivery date for the CAA Games is in February while the Games hold in August 2018.

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Gara Gombe sets up committee for Gombe Inter Schools Athletics Championship

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Former chairman of Gombe State Football Association, Ahmed Shuaibu Gara-Gombe has inaugurated the Main Organising Committee for the Gombe State Inter Secondary Schools Athletics Championship.

Last year at the primary schools edition, over a thousand pupils featured in what was the maiden edition sponsored by Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe who is also the chairman of the Gombe State Athletics Association. It was held at the Pantami Stadium.

The maiden competition had boys and girls from 47 schools in attendance. On Friday, in fulfilment of a pledge to raise the bar, the organising committee was set up  at the Gombe State University as part of private investment in sports development.

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Former 800m world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse banned for 16 months

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France’s former 800m world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse has received a 16-month ban from the French Anti-Doping Agency after missing three drug tests in the space of nine months. Bosse announced he was quitting athletics late last year due to recurrent injuries.

The sanction comes after the 31-year-old missed three drug tests between September 2022 and June 2023. Bosse had announced his retirement in December, seven months before the Paris 2024 Olympics. He had received notifications of breaches three times, with the period coinciding with his efforts to return to a high-level athletic performance despite grappling with a hamstring injury.

The initial breach occurred on 25 September 2022, when an anti-doping controller arrived at his residence to conduct a test within the athlete’s scheduled time slot, but Bosse was not available. He told French news outlet L’Équipe: “I was one foot in training, one foot on holiday.”

Bosse, who was eliminated at semi-final stage of the Tokyo Olympics, was enduring a thigh problem at the time. Following surgery in December 2022, Bosse embarked on a race against time with the aspiration of competing in his fourth Olympic Games in Paris.

On 1 May 2023, authorities tried to contact him again, but were unable to reach him during a time when he was with family in Nantes. “I wasn’t worried at that time because I had forgotten the previous one and so I thought I only had one. At that moment, I gave up completely.”

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Then a month later, a controller returned to his residence for another scheduled check, but the athlete was evidently absent. He was subsequently informed a few weeks later of a likely two-year suspension for failing to fulfill such obligations. 

Despite feeling dejected and shocked, Bosse attempted to defend himself by attributing the second violation to an issue with the absence of a doorbell.

“I made three mistakes, I accept. It’s true that I haven’t always been the best student when it comes to taking care of my location but, until then, it had never played any tricks on me. I know I should have been more serious but I would like to point out that I have been in the AFLD target group since 2012 and they have all my analyses.”

The 31-year-old was unable to recuperate following surgery on his right thigh last year and had been out of competition since April 2023.

Before his injury troubles he most notably secured fourth place in the 800m at the Rio Games back in 2016, and has yet to recapture the form that led to his crowning as the world champion over 800m in London in 2017. Bosse also got his hands on bronze at the European Championships in both 2012 and 2018.

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Since leaving his beloved sport behind, the Frenchman has starred in two reality TV shows in his homeland and focussed on his association combining sport and ecology which he launched with his friend and former international team-mate Bryan Cantero.

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Nigerian-born Ujah recalled to Britain’s relay squad after serving doping ban

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Men's 4 x 100m Relay - Medal Ceremony - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - August 7, 2021. Silver medallists Chijindu Ujah of Britain, Zharnel Hughes of Britain, Richard Kilty of Britain and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake of Britain pose on the podium REUTERS/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

Chijindu Ujah has been recalled to Britain’s 4x100m squad for the World Athletics Relays in May, 10 months after serving his ban for a doping violation which resulted in his team being stripped of their silver medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sprinter Ujah was banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for 22 months in October 2022, which was backdated from August 2021 to June 2023. However, the AIU had cleared Ujah of intentionally taking prohibited substances.

Britain were stripped of the Tokyo silver after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Ujah’s anti-doping rule violation, though former UK Athletics technical director Stephen Maguire had said he would be considered for selection again after his ban.

Ujah’s team mates Richard Kilty, Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake also had their medals stripped, with Kilty saying they were left “devastated” since they had strictly followed the rules unlike Ujah.

All four sprinters were named in an eight-man 4x100m relay squad for the World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas on May 4-5, giving Ujah another shot to redeem himself before the Olympic Games in Paris from July 26-Aug. 11.

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“They have had their fair share of challenges in recent years,” said Darren Campbell, British Athletics’ head of sprints, hurdles and relays.

“But I have had my own discussions with each and every member of the squad and know they are motivated, committed and focused on working together to reach Paris.”

-Reuters

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