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Govt sensitise athletes, coaches against doping

From Esther Akaa, Lafia

Nasarawa State government has organised a one-day sensitisation/awareness creation  programme for its athletes and coaches on the effects of using performance-enhancement substances (doping) to improve athletic performance.

The Voice reports that “doping” refers to the use of prohibited medications, drugs, or treatments by athletes with the intention of improving athletic performance.

The state Commissioner for  Youth and Sports Development,  Mr Lucky Isaac-Yargwa while declaring open the event on Thursday held at the Ibrahim Abacha Youth Centre, in Lafia, said the programme was to create awareness/sensitise  athletes and coaches in the state, who are preparing towards the forthcoming national youth games in Kano State.

Lucky Isaac-Yargwa said that the programme was also aimed at discouraging the use of performance-enhancement substances that are capable of disqualifying athletes in the state, who are preparing for the national sporting festival holding in Asaba, Delta State between September to November, 2022.

“This is one of our programmes which we have been organising  over the years, especially when we have national events. It will help us to train athletes without  using any substance to enhance their performance.

“So many people have been banned from participating in sporting activities due to the use of hard drugs, therefore, we are here to make sure that our athletes perform without using some of these drugs or even alcohol.

“To this effect, we have made all the arrangements for them so that they can be trained both  physically and psychological to enable them compete with their opponents,” he said.

The commissioner, however, revealed that the contracts of coaches and athletes in the state have expired since April 2022,  assuring that the state government was working out modalities to renew the contracts  before the forthcoming national  games.

“Many of you have performed  well so it is our hope that we shall renew your contracts and as we  will be signing this new contract,  your welfare package will be improved as well to boost your performances,” he said.

He, therefore, reassured of the state government’s commitment towards improving sporting  participation among youths, while calling on participants to pay adequate attention to the programme for the benefit of the state.

In a paper presentation, a lecturer in the Department of Physical and Health Education, College  of Education, Akwanga, Dr Ibraheem Tukur, said the use of performance-enhancing aids has both short or long term risks, hence the need to create awareness for both coaches and athletes.

Tukur, who spoke on the topic: “Ergonomic Aids, Influence and Effects on Sports Performance among Athletes” said athletes will suffer adverse health effects and even premature death when  associated with the doping practices.

“These adverse outcomes and deaths lead to the first ban on doping by the International Association of Athletics Federation (now World Athletics) in 1928,” he said.

Earlier, in his remark, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics  at the State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Ubah Musa said the aim of organising the programme was to educate the coaches and athletes in the state on the dangers of doping and other practices capable of disqualifying them from participating in sporting competitions.

Some of the athletes, who spoke with The Voice, including Godiya Dogara and Esther Obile, both  appreciated the state government for organising the programme.

They said that the programme has exposed them to the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs capable of destroying their lives.

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