The Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, on Thursday, held an anti-doping seminar at the Ibrahim Abacha Youth Centre, Lafia.
The one-day seminar was titled “Performance Enhancing Substances(Doping)”.
Declaring the event open, State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Amb. Lucky Isaac Yargwa, said the programme was both deliberate and imperative considering the negative effects of doping on the life of an athlete and the impact in the society.
“On behalf of the entire Management and Staff of the Ministry, I welcome you to this important programme.
“This programme is the brainchild of the Ministry, and the aim is to create awareness and sensitize our coaches and athletes on the danger of taking performance enhancing drugs, either before or during a sport competition.
“You are all aware of how many great athletes have been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, because such athletes took substances that aided their performances.
“Such ugly development brought shame and embarrassments to the athletes, families, Federation, and their country as a whole.
“The world is seriously against the intake of steroids for podium appearance. Not only that, illicit intake of drugs can be detrimental to the life of an athlete, and this could in turn, affect how the society operates.
“Using your natural abilities is the best way to celebrate success.
“So, as we approach major National Events, like the Sports Festival in Asaba, in Delta State, we are taking proactive measures to prevent doping among our athletes as we won’t tolerate nor condone any athlete or coach that encourages the intake of banned substances. The penalties will be very severe from us before the necessary agencies carry up their own sanctions.
“So, endeavour to pay rapt attention to everything to be taught here by the Resource Person and ask questions where you find complications.
“We thank the State Government under the prudent leadership of Governor Abdullahi Sule, for approving funds for this programme.
“As a Ministry, we will continue to create level-playing ground for our sports men and women to thrive and excel.”
The event was designed for coaches and athletes under the State’s Ministry as participants were provided information on the topic, “ERGONOMIC AIDS, INFLUENCE, & EFFECTS ON SPORTS PERFORMANCE AMONG ATHLETES”, including Doping and its consequences as presented by a lecturer with the Department of Physical and Health Education, College of Education, Akwanga, Dr. Ibraheem Tanko Tukur.
Coaches were also informed about documentation which needs to be completed prior to national or international competitions.
The basics of anti-doping, the role of the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, and the impacts on the career and personal life of an athlete were among areas explored by the Resource Person during the seminar.
Proponent of the initiative and Director, Planning, Research and Statistics of the Ministry, Ubah Musa, disclosed that the need to compete clean and protect the State’s athletes and coaches during competitions informed the motive behind the seminar, stressing that more of such programmes would be hosted in the future to place Nasarawa State in the comity of States with disciplined and clean athletes and coaches.
Bashir Bassey(Judo) who spoke on behalf of the Coaches thanked the Ministry for the initiative, pledging to do all within their powers to ensure strick adherence and clean participation in sporting events.
Some of the athletes who participated in the Seminar, Esther Obile(Judo) and Godiya Dogara(Hockey) said the programme taught them a lot and made them to understand precautionary steps to take to avoid falling victims of doping.
They said they would continue to work hard under favourable conditions to dominate podium appearances.
Director of Sports Organizing, Shammah Lawrence, in his closing remarks, urged athletes and coaches to report any suspicious act of doping to the relevant stakeholders within the Ministry for urgent action to be taken.
Also present at the Seminar were SSAs to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Sports Affairs, and Youth Development, Hamza Ibrahim Moyi and Shuaibu Sani; Covering Permanent Secretary, Umar Abubakar, and Directors of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as well as Mukhtar Angbashimu(Lecturer, College of Education, Akwanga).