Ajunwa returns with fight against drug use in sport

Submitted by Sunny Oke Oluku on 28 June 2011 - 1:58pm

Atlanta 1996 Olympic gold medalist, Chioma Ajunwa-Opara has reiterated the need for Nigeria athletes to shun drugs saying it will destroy their career and it should not be allowed in any competition because it is a violation of the spirit of good sportsmanship.

The Nigeria Police officer, who now runs a campaign fighting against the use of illicit drugs by athletes, said during the 65th All Nigeria/Cross River Athletics Championships that ended at the weekend in Calabar, Cross River state that doping should not be part of sports.

Ajunwa, who was herself banned from the sport for four years after failing a doping test in 1992, stated that she is using her foundation to appeal to all athletes in the country to join her in educating all on the inherent danger of taking illegal drugs in sports.

"Since the Cross River state will be hosting the championship for five years, the government should take the fight seriously and acquire all the necessary machines and manpower needed to discourage doping at any level of sporting competitions.

"Sports bring fame and wealth, the positive effects of being an athlete can never be overemphasized for it is a life long experience.

Doping (drug use) can be a roadblock towards athletes realizing their full ambitions and expectations."

While stating that performance enhancing drugs like anabolic steroid, stimulants, narcotics, diuretics, peptide hormones, mimetic, analogues, cannabinoids and heroin may help the athletes in their own opinion to perform better; she however says the use is dangerous. She said drug use is not worth risking one's life or health for.

According to her, the world today is a sport-oriented global community where many are already engaged in one sporting activity or the other and many others are finding their way into sports.

She said it is disheartening to say that many athletes also drop along the way without achieving their targets because of the usage of illegal drugs in sports.