Nigerian athletes and officials to the on-going 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China have been directed to leave and come home after the country pulled out of the competition on Wednesday following discrimination against its athletes.
Acording to reports, Sierra Leone were the first country to reveal that they had pulled out following pressure from the Chinese authorities. A few hours later they were joined by Nigeria, who withdrew their team in protest at how they had been treated in China.
Gbenga Elegbeleye, director general of the National Sports Commission, said:
“Nigerian athletes were quarantined, isolated and barred from training alongside athletes from other countries since they arrived the competition venue over news of Ebola virus in Nigeria. Following this discrimination, we have resolved to pull out from the Games.”
In a statement signed Wednesday by the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye Nigeria protested to the organisers that the treatment to the Nigerian athletes were inhuman.
The decision to withdraw Team Nigeria from the Games was taken after a meeting with Sports Minister, Dr Tammy Danagogo, Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, President, Engr Sani M. Ndanusa and the Director General of the National sports Commission, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye.
The Youth Olympics is scheduled to hold from August 16 to August 18, and team Nigeria were to participate in three sports – Athletics, Wrestling and Beach Vollleyball, with twelve athletes.