2 Texas Tech athletes ineligible to compete at Olympics
TOKYO (KCBD) - Days before Texas Tech’s two-time triple jump champion Ruth Usoro and signee sprinter Rosemary Chukwuma were scheduled to lace up the sneakers for Nigeria at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, they learned they are unable to do so.
The Athletics Integrity Unit, which was put in place by the International Association of Athletics Federation in 2017 to minimize doping, announced Chukwuma and Usoro were among 10 in their nation barred from the track because of a lack of submitted drug tests.
In 2020, Nigeria was added to the AIU’s list of nations most at-risk for doping. The two Red Raider runners are among 20 athletes in the same predicament. Even if the athletes appeal, there may not be enough time as track and field begins Friday.
While donning the Red & Black, Usoro had a successful spring with the Red Raiders earning national titles- both in indoor and outdoor. This comes after a successful career at South Plains College.
Chukwuma just finished her tenure at South Plains College, and recently signed to run for Tech. She was expected to be an integral part of Nigeria’s 4 x 100m relay team.
Texas Tech track and field coach Wes Kittley said neither athletes are at fault, and said the responsibility came from the Athletes Federation of Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Federation was supposed to have three tests performed on all their athletes within ten months prior to the Olympic games. Ruth or Rosemary knew nothing about this it was never notified by the Nigerian Federation or anyone this needed to happen, so those tests were never given. That is the problem they were not tested ten months prior. A tremendous ball was dropped by the Nigerian Federation by either not knowing this (or) just failing to get the ten athletes that this affects on their team. Terrible and really shows how did functional their federation is. Ruth has never failed a drug test! In this case, she never took them and didn’t know she needed to.”
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