AIU queries AFN over discrepancies in ages of four Nigerian athletes!

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has demanded answers from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) following discrepancies in the ages of four Nigerian athletes (names withheld) who are eligible to compete in August’s World U20 Championships in Lima, Peru.

The AIU says it ‘has identified discrepancies regarding the date of birth (DOB) for at least 4 Nigerian athletes’, noting ‘each of these athletes has at least two, and sometimes three or more, different DOBs which have been used to enter competitions at different times.’
The body saddled with ensuring the integrity of athletics says it ‘is not aware of any reason why these athletes appear to have completely different, multiple DOBs. It is also not clear whether the identification documents submitted by the athletes (such as passports) are true or whether they have been forged or falsified.’

In a letter dated June 7, 2024 and addressed to Tonobok Ojuru Okowa and Rita Moshindi, President and Secretary General, respectively, of the AFN, and signed by Brett Clothier, Head of the Athletics Integrity Unit, the AFN was given until Friday June 21, 2024 to respond to the query.

The AIU demanded from the AFN to submit, inter-alia, the athletes current passport, all previous passports, birth certificate, national ID card, documents submitted in support of passport applications, medical records, including hospitalization records, dental records, vaccination records as well as education records including matriculation records, school end-of-term/year reports ad school examination results among others.

The AFN was also expected to have furnished the AIU with any correspondence between the athlete and the federation regarding their date of birth.

One of the athletes is male and was a double champion in the U18 category at the African U18/U20 Championships last year in Ndola, Zambia while the remaining three are females viz a sprinter, an hurdler and a long/triple jumper.

One of the female athletes had three different dates of birth while the male had a 2004 and  2006 dates of birth.
Two of the athletes had different dates of birth in the AFN entry list for two of the federation’s competitions (in 2019 and 2021) but were registered by the federation with another dates of birth for the African U18/U20 championships in 2023.

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