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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Africa Shinning at Commonwealth, Nigerians Caught up in Doping Controversies

Two Nigerians test positive for performance-enhancing drug as Commonwealth Games nears conclusion.

With barely 48 hours remaining before the curtains come down on the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, African countries are still involved in the rush for medals at the games.

A total of three African countries, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are currently placed among the top 10 in the overall medals tally. South Africa is the best-placed African team, lying fifth after winning 12 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals. Nigeria is placed 6th overall and second in Africa with 10 gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze, while Kenya sits 7th overall and third in Africa with 10 gold, 9 silver and 8 bronze.

Uganda and Botswana are the only other Africa teams to have won gold at the games. Uganda has two gold medals and sits 16th overall, while Botswana lies 20th overall with a single gold and three bronze medals. Cameroon, Seychelles, Ghana, Mauritius and Namibia have also registered their names in the medals table.

Nigeria's gold medal tally dropped to 10 after Damola Osayemi was stripped of the women's 100m gold  after she failed a drugs test. The sprinter tested positive for stimulant methylhexaneamine and had been provisionally suspended until the result of her B sample, which tested positive for a banned stimulant were confirmed on Wednesday.

Another Nigerian, Samuel Okon, who finished 6th in the 110m hurdles, also tested positive for the drug and has also been provisionally suspended pending a hearing. Both athletes tested positive for the stimulant that was added in 2009 to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned drugs.

Nigerian team officials had expressed confidence that Osayemi, who finished second but was declared winner after Australia’s Sally Pearson (the race winner) was disqualified, would retain her gold.

With 12 gold medals so far, South Africa is likely to retain the title of being the first placed African team at the Commonwealth but this will depend on how Kenya in particular fairs in the remaining track and field events. In Melbourne, Australia four years ago, South Africa had 12 gold medals, 13 silver and 13 bronze finishing fifth behind Australia, England, Canada and India. Kenya had 6 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze medals.

And in spite of missing big name athletes like World 800m Champion David Rudisha, World 5,000m champion Eliud Kipchoge and defending women’s 800m champion from Melbourne Janeth Jepkosgei, Kenya has so far faired better than in 2006. The East African long and middle distance thrust is likely to surpass the 2006 medal haul by double given that it still has eyes set on the marathon and boxing. 

The event which ends tomorrow has been Kenya's most medal-laden in the history of  her participation in the event that was first held in 1930 under the title of the British Empire Games in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!