Kazeem made the call when he led some executive members of the committee on a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the collaboration was necessary because of the army’s involvement in sports development, even as Nigerian athletes prepare for a successful and dope free participation at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
According to him, the Nigerian Army is well known in the sporting community for producing some of the best sports men and women who represented Nigeria at major regional and international sporting events.
“Indeed, the capacity of the Army to produce some of the most disciplined athletes in the country is recognised, especially in wrestling and volleyball.
“I note that of recent, our Army provided Team Nigeria with some of the top athletes that represented the country at the 2019 all Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco.
“Sir, with milestone achievements by the Army in sports, the objective of our visit today is to seek the collaboration of your esteemed organisation as a significant stakeholder in the constant fight against the menace of doping in sports.
“Within the National Anti-Doping Proramme, we have activities of a continuous nature, which we are hoping to pursue with the support of all stakeholders.
“These include: drug testing on athletes as a detection and deterrence measure to doping; anti-doping research activities and anti-doping education activities as preventive measures,” he said.
Kazeem further stated that, NADC would seek to build the anti-doping capacity of various sport stakeholders across the federation with the goal of creating and raising anti-doping awareness for a sustainable dope-free culture among athletes some of whom the army had produced.
He said that Nigeria could not afford to fail to implement a robust World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code compliant. to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing consequences it faced in 2018.
According to him, concerted efforts by well-meaning stakeholders saw to Nigeria’s early reinstatement, and that is why we are here to solicit the support of the Nigerian Army in sustaining.
“There is an urgent need to focus much more on helping our athletes train and compete clean by reinforcing and instilling core values into our athletes in line with our national anti-doping rules through drug testing and education.
“I am thus assured that the importance of protecting Nigeria sports from the menace of doping is one you will well appreciate personally.
“I therefore hope that NADC has sought and found a strategic stakeholder in the Nigerian Army to collaborate with,” he added.
In his response, Maj.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, said that the army as a responsible organisation would continue to support sports development.
Buratai, represented by the Chief of Army Standard and Evaluation, Maj.-Gen. Francis Azinta, said that sports men and women in the Nigerian Army had stayed clean and none of its athletes had been involved in any doping scandal over a period of time.
He assured the committee of army’s commitment to partner with it in the fight against doping among Nigerian athletes both nationally and internationally.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Isaac Aregbesola
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