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Okpekpe Doping Control: Amao named as Chief Anti-Doping officer

One of the country’s foremost sports medicine practitioners, Akinwunmi Amao, a medical doctor, has been named as the chief anti-doping officer for next month’s 4th Okpekpe international 10km road race.

The race holds in Okpekpe town, near Auchi in Edo State on May 7.

Amao, formerly, the head of the Medical Unit of the Ministry of Sports would be in-charge of doping control at the race being conducted in accordance with the IAAF Anti-Doping Regulations.

Dare Esan, spokesman of the race, said in a statement released in Lagos on Wednesday that the organisers were delighted to announce the veteran as the head of the doping unit.

Amao is currently chairman of the Medical/Scientific Commission of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).

“Doping issues are taken very seriously by the IAAF following recent damaging revelations.

“As a recognised stakeholder in the `Athletics Family’, it is our responsibility to align with the IAAF in the fight for a dope-free sport.

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“This is what influenced our decision to look for a man of honour and integrity to head the anti-doping unit for the race,” the statement ‘explained.

“We have sent his name to the IAAF as well as the kind of sampling materials (urine kits) that will be used, the mode of transporting it to the WADA-accredited laboratory outside Africa since the one in South Africa has been temporarily shutdown.

“This is really an important step in our drive at ensuring the credibility in the doping system. We have also built a doping station at the finish area in Okpekpe, where the doping control will take collect samples,’’ it added.

“As a bronze label race the IAAF regulations states that a minimum of four samples must be collected for mixed races (2 men and 2 women) while additional doping tests shall be conducted when a World and/or an Area Record is broken or equaled,’’ it added.

However, on request by any athlete, who has broken a National Record although this will be at the athlete’s expense.

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“We have insisted that athletes must complete the authentic application forms with duly certified medical report before confirmation can be given for the race.

“Athletes with illnesses or conditions that require the use of medication listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List are advised to apply for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) with the relevant agency before coming for the race,’’ the statement added.