Sports ministry plans N350m anti-doping lab in Nsukka


The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has put plans in place to build a National Anti-doping Laboratory in the country in 2022, The PUNCH reports.

This was contained in the 2022 budget presented to the National Assembly by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), which was seen by our correspondent.

According to the document, the anti-doping laboratory will be domiciled at the University of Nigeria Nsukka.

The new laboratory is expected to cost N350m.

The construction of the new lab comes after 10 Nigerian athletes were barred from participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet anti-doping requirements.

The PUNCH reported that Nigeria accounted for 50 per cent of the 20 athletes barred from the Olympics by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

“Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes,” AIU said in a statement in July.

To forestall any future occurrence, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria announced the appointment of a seven-man Medical and Anti-Doping Commission headed by Professor Ken Anugweje.

When completed, the anti-doping laboratory will get accreditation from the World Anti-Doping Agency before it can conduct human doping control sample analyses.

According to WADA website, “A WADA accredited laboratory which can also conduct blood analyses in support of the haematological module of the Athlete Biological Passport.”

WADA also approved some other laboratories to collect blood analyses in support of the ABP.

Before now, anti-doping tests carried out on Nigeria athletes were taken out of the country for analyses.

If accredited, the UNN anti-doping laboratory will be the second accredited laboratory in Africa after the South Africa Doping Control Laboratory in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

There are also two approved laboratories in Egypt and Kenya.

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