The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has given the sixth IAAF silver label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race held last May in Okpekpe, near Auchi, Edo State, a clean bill of health following the negative dope tests recorded at the one-day meeting.
Spokesman of the Organising body, Dare Esan, revealed that the result of the doping control carried out on race day (May 12) has returned an all negative result.
In an e-mail message to promoter of the race, Mike Itemuagbor, the AIU,which sits at the heart of the IAAF’s integrity reforms confirmed that none of the samples taken at the event tested positive for the use of performance enhancing drugs.
‘’I am pleased to inform you that the analyses of the doping control samples collected at Okpekpe Intl 10km Road Race, performed at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Stockholm, did not reveal the presence or use of a substance or method prohibited under the current WADA Prohibited List,” wrote Virginie Ocquidant, the AIU In Competition Testing Coordinator.
This development, according to Esan is a big pat on the back for the organisers of the race. “This is not only a good development for the sport, it is equally a big plus for the organisers of the race,’ said Esan who believes the clean bill of health the race has been receiving since its inaugural edition in 2013 is a testimony to the zero tolerance organisers of the race have for doping.
“When we decided to make Dr Akin Amao who retired as the head of the Medical Unit of the Ministry of Sports and one of Nigeria’s foremost sports medicine practitioners as our head of the anti-doping unit for the race,it is because we wanted to ensure everything about the race has a touch of excellence and integrity. This has given Edo state and Nigeria a positive image that money cannot buy. The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the first road race in West Africa to get a label rating when it was granted a bronze label status four years ago.
It is also the first ever silver label road race in West Africa following its upgrade this year and remains the only road race in Nigeria recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
The race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.