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10 Nigerian Athletes Disqualified From Tokyo Olympics

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10 Nigerian Athletes Disqualified From Tokyo Olympics

Ten Nigerian athletes have been ruled ineligible to participate at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), dampening the country’s hope for a successful competition.

The athletes were ruled ineligible due to failure to meet the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 of the Anti-Doping Rules for ‘Category A’ federations.

‘Category A’ federations are those that are deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport.

This was revealed in a statement released by the AIU, an independent Athletic body charged with managing all issues of integrity, including doping and non-doping cases.

The AIU revealed that a total number of 18 athletes were ruled ineligible to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, with Nigeria accounting for the majority, with 10 athletes.

The names of the athletes were not released in the statement.

A major requirement of Rule 15 is that “an athlete from a ‘Category A’ country must undergo at least three no-notice out-of-competition tests (urine and blood) conducted no less than 3 weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event. Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games.”

Despite not having major doping cases, Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels, according to the AIU website.

Chair of the AIU board, David Howman enjoined countries to play their part in the fight against doping, saying “National Federations must play their part in supporting anti-doping efforts. The eligibility rules for athletes from ‘Category A’ countries are very clear and compliance is essential for cementing the required long-term changes and ensuring a level playing field for clean athletes.”

“I must underline that there have been significant improvements in anti-doping efforts in most ‘Category A’ countries thanks to this rule. It is clear that the relevant National Federations in conjunction with their NADOs have started to take their testing responsibilities seriously, and I thank them for their efforts, but there remains a long way to go in some circumstances,” Howman added.

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Manny Pacquiao Quits Boxing To Run For President

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Manny Pacquiao Quits Boxing To Run For President

Phillipian boxer, Manny Pacquiao has announced his retirement from boxing as he aims to become the new President of the Philippines in 2022.

The eight-division world champion disclosed his presidential intentions in a tweet, as he is already a Senator in the country since 2016

“I boldly accept the challenge of running as PRESIDENT of the Philippines.

READ ALSO: I Have No Issues With Messi – Pochettino

“We need progress, we need to win against poverty. We need the government to serve our people with integrity, compassion, and transparency.

“The time is now. I am ready to rise to the challenge of leadership.”

When asked about his fighting days, Manny Pacquiao told Toni Talks: “My boxing career?

“My boxing career is already over.

“It’s done because I’ve been in boxing for a long time and my family says that it is enough. I just continued [to box] because I’m passionate about this sport.

“I will just support other boxers for us to have a champion again.

Manny Pacquiao, 42, was last in action last month against Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas.

The former welterweight champion suffered a unanimous decision defeat to the Olympic silver medallist and hinted that his days fighting would soon come to an end.

In the post-fight press conference, a heartbroken Pacquiao said:

“In the future, you may not see Manny Pacquiao fight again in the ring.

“I don’t know. But for how many decades, I’m so happy with what I’ve done in boxing. I contribute a record in boxing also and to make boxing the top.

“And especially bring honor to my country and the Filipino people.

“I’m so proud to be a Filipino and thankful to all the fans all over the world.”

Rodrigo Duterte is the current incumbent, with the election to decide his successor scheduled for May 9, 2022.

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I Have No Issues With Messi – Pochettino

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I Have No Issues With Messi - Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says there are “no issues” with Lionel Messi after the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar’s reaction to being substituted during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Ligue 1 rivals Lyon.

Messi had a puzzled look on his face as he walked past PSG head coach Pochettino, after being replaced by full-back Achraf Hakimi in the game’s 76th minute.

Pochettino and Messi briefly exchanged words before the latter sat on the bench next to surprised teammates.

READ ALSO: Mauricio Pochettino Returns To PSG As New Manager

He was making his home debut at the Parc des Princes following his blockbuster arrival from FC Barcelona.

Messi was involved in six shots (four attempts, two chances created) against Lyon.

Only Kylian Mbappe against Clermont (seven) has managed better in a league game so far this season for PSG.

A six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi also had 65 touches and made 48 passes with an accuracy of 83.3 percent.

Pochettino told a media conference: “I think everyone knows that we have many great players, with a 35-man squad.

We have to make choices, within the matchday squad and then during the game, keeping in mind what’s best for the team and every player.

Sometimes the decisions are positive, or not, but that’s what managers are there to do on the sidelines, to make decisions. It can please people or not.

I asked him how he was and he said he was fine, no issues.”

PSG secured victory over Lyon following a dramatic injury-time header from substitute Mauro Icardi to Mbappe’s cross, after Neymar’s penalty kick had earlier canceled out Lucas Paqueta’s opening goal.

Pochettino’s PSG is now five points clear of Marseille at the top of Ligue 1 after six wins from six games.

PSG has achieved a flawless start from their first six games for the third time after 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.

On both those occasions, they went on to be crowned champions.

“It’s very positive for us,” Pochettino said of their start to the Ligue 1 campaign.

After the difficult game (against Club Brugge in the Champions League), this was important for us. Lyon is a very good team that plays well.

We conceded that goal in the second half. The team needed to show some character.

We’re in a period where we’re trying a lot of things. We have to work on it in training, but it’s difficult because we have a game every three days, and the priority is that the players recover.

We can only do video sessions. It’s not an excuse, but we need to improve.”

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FIFA To Bring Football Competitions To Nigeria – Infantino

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FIFA To Bring Football Competitions To Nigeria - Infantino

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino on Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.

Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the Moshood Abiola national stadium.

The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.

READ ALSO: FIFA Declares Total Amount Spent On Transfers In 10 Years

He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.

We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.

“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (Moshood Abiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.

“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.

“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.

Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.

The FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.

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