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Ebola: IOC Bars Athletes from Affected Countries in Youth Olympic Games



Nanjing_Youth_Olympics_2014 BellaNaija

Abuja (Reuters/NAN) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC), said on Friday it was prohibiting young athletes from countries affected by Ebola  from participating in certain events at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

A statement issued by the IOC said athletes from West Africa, where authorities are battling an outbreak of the Ebola virus, will not be allowed to compete in combat sports or in the swimming pool.

The joint statement was endorsed by the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.

It said it was impossible to rule out the risk of potential infection if athletes from the region were allowed to compete in combat sports.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Team Nigeria withdrew from the competition after its athletes were isolated and barred from training because of the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

Nigeria’s Consul General in Shanghai, Amb. Ayo Otepola, told NAN that the decision by Nigerian team to withdraw was done in the “best interest’’ of the country.

“We are not participating at the opening ceremony tomorrow (Saturday),’’ Otepola who was on his way to Nanjing from Shanghai told NAN by telephone.

He said the athletes and officials would depart China immediately as soon as their flight tickets were confirmed.

“The flight tickets were issued by IOC and we have notified them that we are no longer participating in the competition,’’ he said.

Otepola commended the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) for the way it handled the situation in China.

“Nigeria is not a country of origin in the outbreak of the Ebola virus, the circumstances of the first index case was from a Liberian-American who brought the virus to Nigeria.

“I congratulate the Nigeria Olympic committee here on how they have handled the issue and I will be in Nanjing on Friday to coordinate our withdrawal’’, he said.

According to him, medical checks by the Chinese authorities on all the athletes and officials at the point of entry showed no sign of exposure to Ebola virus.

The diplomat said he did not understand why the team was prevented from training like other athletes participating in the competition.

“Considering the age of athletes, they are very young and many of them were traveling out of the country for the first time, I think they were psychologically affected by what they met in China’’, he said.

The Youth Olympics was scheduled to hold from Aug. 16 to Aug. 28 and Team Nigeria registered to participate in three sports including athletics, wrestling and beach volleyball with twelve athletes.

According to WHO, the death toll from the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola stood at 1,069 from 1,975 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, as at Aug. 13.

The majority were in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, while four people have died in Nigeria.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. @edDREAMZ

    August 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Yu see what patrick has done to us, See what that useless and stupid pig of a human being has done to us….. May his soul rot in hell for all i care….

    • Preston

      August 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Dude!!! please say something helpful, or act the part. Your banter over the dead is starting to flip the f**k out of me. Sure Nigeria is in the said predicament cos of the callous act by Mr. sawyer, but try to be with the present state of mind. His dead, there’s nothing we can do about it, all you and i can do, is to prevent the spread.
      Enlighten the people around you, Teach them how its being contacted, and ways to prevent the virus, cos not everyone gets access to free internet, and that’s the loose end, cos information/awareness is key. Look at the likes of Liberia, Sierra leone and Guinea, how the Virus has crippled their economy. Hope to them seem lost, Nigeria still has a fighting chance.
      Spread HOPE, cos you’re still here, sawyer and over a thousand African brothers and sisters are not.

  2. Deedara

    August 16, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I feel for these youths who were excited about participating in an international sporting event only to be stigmatized and isolated. It’s unfortunate but I agree with the decision to withdraw completely. I pray this outbreak ends soon.

  3. Not like they woulda won anything anyway. #ShootMe

  4. paty omini

    August 16, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Lord jesus pls deliver us(Nigeria) from dis illness

  5. odu obaalologhi

    August 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    this’s a slap in the face, NAIJA.lets spread the news to help prevent it

  6. del

    August 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Prejudice I hope our goverment is taking note.

    • Markize

      August 18, 2014 at 8:35 am

      May God bless you Del for that intervention. I expect to see a concerted, calculated response from our government against these ‘toy-faced, stunted racists’ called Chinese! It just tells you what a world in their hands will look like. With all the technology they have at their disposal??? Have they not tested those kids? What kind of wickedness is this please?

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