SCANDAL: Ondo lawmaker suspended over doping allegations

… Minister does not have right to suspend me – George


Olamide George, member representing Akure North constituency in the Ondo State House of Assembly has been suspended as Vice President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria over alleged involvement in doping.

News Agency of Nigeria reported that George’s suspension was announced by the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung.

Dalung, on Tuesday, inaugurated a five-member committee to investigate the alleged violation of doping rules and improper conduct in the ministry.

Inaugurating the committee, the minister charged the committee to be fair and thorough in its investigation on the matter that has brought lots of misconceptions in the ministry.

Mr. Dalung informed the committee that Olamide George, Vice President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, and Sade Abugan, an athlete, were alleged to have violated doping rules during the 2012 Commonwealth Games in India.

He said the issue was addressed by the ministry after the 2012 Commonwealth Games and two persons were indicted but only one person was sanctioned then.

“This action has continued to generate a number of petitions to the ministry and we have decided to look into the matter to find lasting solutions to it,’’ he said.

Mr. Dalung urged the committee to establish whether the Nigerian government over the years has acted in a manner to cover up the issue.

“The committee has the power to dig into the matter and call anybody that is found wanting to appear before the committee irrespective of the person’s position.

“We need to do all that is possible to clear the name of the ministry and ensure that we do the right thing at all times’’ he said.

Mr. Dalung gave the committee three weeks within which to complete its investigations and submit the report to the ministry.

He said the committee would be funded properly to ensure that all investigations were carried out adequately.

Responding on behalf of the committee members, Pius Oteh, Chairman of the committee, pledged to put in their best to deliver on the mandate given to them.

He commended the minister for the confidence reposed on members of the committee and promised not to disappoint the minister.

“We are not unaware of the negative impact of doping on the image of an athlete and the country in general.

“We will do our best to ensure that this problem that has lingered over the years will be finally resolved,’’ he said.

Other members of the committee included: Danjuma Mohammed, Oloruntoba Amos, Johnny Hamaking and Olusegun Akinlotan as secretary.