The world seems to have crashed upon David Aya after he tested positive to banned drugs. He has been slapped with a career ending ban, the scholarship he won to study in an American University has been suspended and now he is pleading with Nigerians to come to his aid to pay for legal services in a bid to reduce or quash the ban, so that he can resume his career and continue with his studies. Aya was handed a four-year ban, a long time for a high jumper to be out of action. Because there is the possibility of adding weight and it becomes a battle to fit again to continue. “As a first offender and a junior athlete, I believe that four years is long,” said Aya “I am not yet an elite athlete, I have not been to the Olympics yet. It is harsh and I want Nigerians to help so that I can pay for legal counsel. “ He submitted that he volunteered to do the dope test on his own, because when the Nigeria junior team was going to the World Athletics Junior Championships in Colombia, they were ordered to undergo dope tests before they could be on the team. “I did three dope tests and it was the middle one that gave me this problem. “Before we went to Colombia nobody told me I have issues with my test. I did not know anything, it was when I got to the US they sent me a letter that I had failed a test and my world came upside down. “I was like banging my head on the wall trying to know exactly where things had gone wrong, because I know very well the implications of using drug enhancing performance. It was then a doctor asked me if I had eaten pork. “I told him yes. He said to me that pork can cause a spark of steroids in the system if it is mixed with some other healthy supplement I might be taking. A nutritionist friend of mine also asked me the same thing.” “All the vitamins I have been taking are not on the WADA list and so it was a rude shock to me. “I didn’t have all this information. They say ignorance is no excuse in law, I just hope that I can get a good lawyer that can help get out of this mess. “Right now I’m so concerned about my auntie who gave me money to travel. She is having some health issues, I had hoped that when I get to the USA, I would study and do some small jobs to support her, but now I’m caught in a web.”
Speaking on Aya’s case, Athletics Federation of Nigeria medical and doping director Professor Ken Anugweje lamented that it was regrettable what happened to Aya. “But rules are rules made by the World Athletics and these rules are adapted from WADA. “It is based on the substance found in the system more than any other consideration. Some substances warrant only public warnings, but Aya what was found in his body warranted the lengthy ban; these are prescribed sanctions by the WA. “The claim that he ate pork is a long shot because it is no longer valid. It is a claim that has been made before by athletes who tried to hold on to something that has to do clenbuterol. “Some countries in the past used steroids to fatten their cows and pigs, those are no longer an excuse. “Where did he eat the pork and who sold the pork to him? “We know Aya very well. He used to come to the high performance to come and train. It is very unfortunate what happened to him.”

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