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Kwara Athletics Association fights back, wants AFN to rescind purported suspension

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The Kwara State Athletics Association wants the Athletics Federation of Federation to lift the suspension order placed on it following the discovery that coach Ahmed Muritala was seen associating with track and field athletes and officials despite serving a 10 year ban for anti-doping rule violation, according to The Niche newspaper.

The association, according to the newspaper, wrote in a letter dated June 20 and addressed to Tonobok Okowa, the President of the AFN expressing its displeasure with the untidy and unprofessional manner the AFN handled the matter.

‘The attention of the (Kwara State Athletics) association has been called to the letter of suspension purportedly addressed to the chairman of Kwara State Athletics Association on matters relating to the suspension of coach Muritala Ahmed, who is an employee of the Kwara Sports Commission.

‘The release of the letter on the Chairmen and Secretaries (Whatssapp) platform, rather than directly to the chairman of Kwara State Athletics Association is less than ideal and leaves a bad taste,’ said the association in the letter.

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The association also revealed that, as a member association of the AFN, it did not receive any correspondence from the sport’s governing body in Nigeria informing about coach Muritala’s charge for anti-doping rule violation and his subsequent ban.

The association said it never received any letter or correspondence from WADA, AFN or relevant body to the effect of the charge preferred against the coach and when he was invited to face the fiar hearing panel.

‘The association also never received any letter or correspondence from WADA, AFN or relevant body to the effect of determination of his fair hearing with WADA,’ the letter further stated.

The Kwara State Athletics Association also revealed that the banned coach was not in its employment but, as a proactive association, suspended him from all athletics activities in the state when the news first filtered out that he has been banned.

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Coach Muritala, the association added, was suspended by the association based on the letter WADA sent to him pending determination of his case

‘The association sent a copy of its letter suspending coach Muritala to the AFN and the association suspended him due to the gravity of his alleged infringement and the source of his letter (WADA).

‘Coach Muritala has remained suspended by the association from all our activities as we waited for correspondences from relevant quarters and that the association never approved whatever athletics activities he has engaged in since then.’

The association therefore demanded that the suspension should be lifted immediately.

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‘We, members of the association, therefore call for fairness and ask that the AFN rescind the purported suspension of Kwara State Athletics Association, as we believe it was done without hearing our own side of the story.

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