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Fraud: AFN suspends Olympian Tonjoh …deny Edo silver medal

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By Mike Oboh

An Olympian, Rachael Tonjoh has been striped of her silver medal in the ongoing 19th National Sports Festival because fraudulent act.

Tonjoh who worked with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps was denied her medal and suspended along side Edorodion Faith by the Aquatic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for cheating by registering for two states, Edo and Kano in 50m and 200m breastsrokes events in Swimming.

Tonjoh, who represented Nigeria in the last Olympic Games was accused of collecting salaries from both States and got them to register her for the events.

This action, which according to rule 7 of the festival was not permissibile hence the big hammer by the federation.

Kano State on discovering the double registration protested, claiming that the duo were its athletes and the federation allowed Tonjoh to participate without been attached to any State.

The federation after considering the protest, found the athletes guilty of double registration and order the denial of Tonjoh of her medal and her suspension from the festival.

The President of Aquatic Federation of Nigeria, Fatai Williams , said the swimmer was allowed to compete on protest without any attachment but before the event Kano State filled a protest which was looked into by the federation’s 5-man panel and found her guilty and ordered for her outright disqualification.

The Panel, base on rule 7 of the festival rules, also recommended that the third and fourth positions be upgraded and the swimmer banned for 2 years from the Festival.

Kane state who came third and fourth in the two events (50m, 200m) breaststrokes was awarded Silver and Bronze respectively.

It was also gathered that Tonjoh who is a staff of NSCDC was also on the monthly payrolls of the two states for over two years.

The other athlete Edorodion Faith did not participate in the swimming event based on the protest.

Speaking on the matter, the chairman of the Kano State Sports Commission, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima said it was unfortunate that the athletes could behave the way they did.

Galadima said the decision of the federation was a welcome development which would serve as a deterrent to others.

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