International Sport Politics Happens to Amusan as Athletics Intelligence Unit Charges for Doping
By OOA securednaija.com
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has taken the decision to provisionally suspend Nigerian track and field athlete, Tobi Amusan, for three missed whereabouts failures. The suspension was announced after it was discovered that Amusan had missed three drug tests within a 12-month period, an offence that could result in a two-year suspension, even if an athlete has never failed a drug test. In a statement on Twitter, the AIU said the charge will be heard by the Disciplinary Tribunal and determined before the World Athletics Championships.
Tobi Amusan, the Women’s Hurdles World Record-holder, on Wednesday 18 July 2023 also announced that she has been charged with an alleged anti-doping rule violation, casting doubt on her participation in next month’s world championships. She made this known in a statement posted on her social media handle.
In her tweet, she said the Athletics body is accusing her of missing three drug tests in 12 months. She however, denied the allegation. In her words, “Today the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has charged me with an alleged rule violation for having 3 missed tests in 12 months,”
While denying the allegations, she wrote, ” I had my test days after missing my 3rd test”. She therefore vowed to Appeal the allegations at the Arbitration tribunal which will hold few days before the World Championship. “I am a CLEAN athlete, and I am regularly (maybe more than usual) tested by the AIU,” she explained further, referencing the Athletics Integrity Unit.
The AIU, which is responsible for overseeing anti-doping measures in athletics worldwide, has strict rules and regulations in place to ensure the integrity of the sport and maintain a level playing field for all athletes. One of these rules requires athletes to submit their whereabouts information, including their daily location and availability for testing, to the AIU’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS).
Tobi Amusan, 26, is the women’s hurdles world record holder who has represented Nigeria in numerous international competitions. Her suspension comes as a significant blow to her career and raises questions about the importance of complying with anti-doping regulations.
She said, “Today the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has charged me with an alleged rule violation for having 3 missed tests in 12 months.
What Has Gone Wrong?
If Tobi Amusan could reference the AIU tweet and claimed that she is innocent and clean, not afraid of the consequences, then, there is more of international politics that doesn’t always want Africans to lead or come out in flying colours during sporting events. “I am a CLEAN athlete, and I am regularly (maybe more than usual) tested by the AIU,” she kicked, referencing the Athletics Integrity Unit. Therefore, referencing Amusan’s tweet, if she is regularly tested, or more tested than usual, then, what has gone wrong.
Is She Being Victimised?
Is she being victimised to allow some other athletics have their way in the world championship around the corner? Why is the suspension coming now, why not few months back? Has she been warned or call to order earlier if truly, she missed her tests? More questions than answers.
Her Recent Wins and the Question of Why Now
Tobi Amusan won the Silesia Diamond League Women’s 100m Hurdles, breaking meet record after finishing the race at 12.34 seconds while American Kendra Harrison came a close second after Amusan caught up with her in a nail-biting race to the finish line.
As at yesterday, she still continued her impressive form ahead of her world title defence with victory in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial.The Gyulai István Memorial is an annual track and field meet that takes place at Bregyó közi Regionális Atlétika Központ in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. She dipped at 12.35 seconds to finish ahead of her opponents in a fierce race on Tuesday.
She defeated the American duo of Nia Ali and Alaysha Johnson, who finished second and third in 12.41 and 12.50 seconds, respectively.This victory was her second in two days after she ran a season-best 12.34 seconds to set a new meet record at the Silesia Diamond League in Poland on Sunday as mentioned earlier.
Two weeks ago, she also won her first Diamond League title of the year in Stockholm, Sweden which makes her return to form coincides with the forthcoming 2023 World Athletics Championship, where she is expected to defend her title. Nevertheless, she might not be able to defend if she is not able to defend this recent doping allegations. The question is, Tobi has been performing excellently recently, why has she not been accused of not making her whereabout known. Why waiting for the end of all these trials in preparation for the World Championship before bringing this allegation forth. Is it that she is becoming unstoppable and the only way to stop her is to look for a flimsy excuse to ban her for two years so that her career can be dragged?
How the Announcement of Her Championship Was Delayed
Further to the above, it could be recalled that her 12.06-second performance at the final of the World Championships held in Eugene, United States was initially announced as a world record, but was later ruled ineligible as according to them, the wind speed exceeded the legal limit for a record she had broken earlier that day by clocking 12.12 seconds in the semi-final at Hayward Field. This initial delay got the world, especially Africans talking. She was however, announced as the new world champion. That is the level of how international politics can play out in international sporting events.
It is hoped that this will be resolved, if not, it will be seen as if racism is at play.
OOA Writes from Lagos, Nigeria.