The President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, has urged Nigerian athletes departing for the Rio Olympics in Brazil to be good ambassadors and shun acts which could tarnish the image of the country.
Sirawoo stated this in an interview with journalists shortly after watching the Lagos SWAN Cup finals at the National Stadium in Lagos, organised by the Lagos State chapter of the Association.
He described as unfortunate the disqualification of Nigeria’s 4x400m women’s relay team following Tosin Adeloye testing positive to performance enhancement drugs despite the admonitions of President Muhammadu Buhari to the athletes on the danger of drugs.
While further cautioning the athletes to refrain from taking performance enhancing drugs, he tasked them to learn from what happened to Russia and her athletes who have been embroiled in drug scandal.
“A good name is better than gold. It is better to perform using your natural talent than taking drugs. No matter how hard you try to cheat, you will be caught one day and the effect would not only be devastating, but affect the character of our country.”
The SWAN president emphasised that sports writers as key stakeholders in the development of sports in Nigeria, would not shield or pamper any athlete or official found wanting, saying the integrity of the corporate name called Nigeria was bigger than every medal.
Sirawoo, therefore tasked the athletes to not only compete with every sense of professionalism and integrity but show the resilience that is associated with Nigerians and bring home laurels that would make the country proud.
“As you depart for Brazil, sports writers are behind you to excel and make history for yourselves and the country. Nigerians are praying for you and we want you to bring honour and glory to this country,” he said.