While speaking in an exclusive interview with The Independent at the weekend, Nigeria’s first and only individual Olympic gold medalist, Chioma Ajunwa, warned youths and upcoming athletes against the use of drugs both in school and in sports.
Chioma said that her message was borne out of her desire not to see the youths fall into the same mess she found herself due to drug.
It will be recalled that Ajunwa, who won Nigeria first Olympic gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics, was given a life ban by the International Armature Athletics Federation (IAAF) after she tested positive to ban substances and she has channeled her energy in dissuading the youths against indiscriminate consumption of drugs.
She said; “The issue of my ban in sports the time it came and I pleaded not guilty and being what the role and laws of IAAF is, they don’t want to know how it happened but the thing is that it happened and I took it in good faith.
“Whether knowingly or unknowingly, that incident was what gave birth to Chioma Ajunwa campaigning against the use of drugs among the youths; use of illicit drugs both at school, home and in sports because I had that problem and it prevented me in so many areas and it will be so bad of me to keep it to myself without coming out to educate the upcoming athletes.
“I am doing that because I don’t want them to fall into the trap or the prey I fall into; I don’t want them to pass through what I passed through because it is not everybody that will be able to pass through what I passed through and will still stand bouncing.
“That is why I campaign against the use of illicit drug in school and in sports. The school in the sense that it starts from school because when you look at the Nigeria today, you will agree with me that a lot of our young ones are taking codeine, tramadol and all manner of illicit things just to make themselves high for a moment.
"Let’s assume that they are in sports doing that and they are being tested, definitely they are going to come out positive. In so doing, nobody will be able to stand for you because it will be you and you alone,” she said.