The first Nigerian Olympic gold medalist, Chioma Ajunwa, has advised Nigerian athletes to resist the temptation of using illicit drugs to enhance their performance.
Ajunwa gave the advice in Port Harcourt at a workshop held for athletes at the ongoing 10th Nigeria Police Biennial Games.
She said that illicit drugs were not good for the body and could harm the athlete in the long run.
Ajunwa, who is the founder of a non-governmental organisation “Chioma Ajunwa Foundation’’ involved in the fight against doping in sports, said that drugs ruined her career as an athlete.
“I was the first Nigerian Olympic gold medalist, but I became a victim of drugs in my days as an athlete. If I could be punished for using drugs, anybody could be punished.
“I do not want you to become a victim of what happened to me and because of the love and passion I have for sports in Nigeria I took the bold step to campaign against the use of drugs in sports,’’ she said.
The former Olympian urged the athletes to be careful in the choice of drugs they use to avoid failing dope test.
“Any mistake could ruin your career as a sportsman or woman. The best option is to stay away completely from drugs and manage your career,’’ she said.
She said that her foundation was also involved in getting talented and young sportsmen and women from the grassroots that could represent the country in future.
In his speech at the workshop, a Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Administration, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Suleiman Fakai, urged athletes to stay away from drugs.
He said the events that led to Ajunwa’s ban by the International Olympic Committee should serve as a lesson to all.
He commended the sportsmen and women for their team spirit and urged them to excel at the police games.