Succour has come the way of Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare as both athletes have now been cleared by the IAAF to compete in the 200m and 4x100m relays for Nigeria following their earlier disqualification at the world championships.
Oduduru and Okagbare had been disqualified from partaking in any events in Doha following a mixup by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) which entered their names in the 100m races even though neither athlete planned originally to compete at that distance.
When they both failed to show up for the 100m, they were then disqualified from the rest of the championship including their main events in the 200m and 4×100 relays as per IAAF rules.
However, following an appeal by Oduduru and Okagbare, world athletics governing body, the IAAF, upturned their disqualification and reinstated them into the competition.
Oduduru, Nigeria’s fastest man over 100m this year and National record holder in the 200m is scheduled to race later Sunday.
Okagbare, who won bronze in the 200 metres in 2013 is scheduled to race in preliminaries on Monday.
Meanwhile, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) technical director Sunday Adeleye could pay the price for the AFN’s incompetence that led to the initial disqualification of Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare.
Several reports suggest that the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare may have directed the immediate recall back to the country of Adeleye over the glaring administrative lapses which led to the violation of the rules and regulations of the IAAF.
Dare, who had followed developments in Doha reportedly gave the order for the recall and immediate investigation of Adeleye to establish the extent of negligence that has brought international embarrassment to the country and nearly cost the dreams of two of Nigeria’s brightest medals hopefuls.
This latest display of AFN incompetence comes after Okagbare hit out at the federation for including her name without her knowledge in its list of athletes to represent Nigeria at the recently concluded 2019 African Games in Rabat Morocco.