The Anti-Doping Bill passed second reading in the House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Bill is sponsored by Rep. Diri Duoye (Bayelsa-PDP), and entitled: “A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Sports Anti Doping Agency.
It would be responsible for carrying out all functions of Nigerian Anti Doping Organization as enshrined in the World Anti Doping Code and Related Matters.
The Bill seeks to comply with the express requirements of the WADA and thereby prevent Nigeria from being declared non-compliant and also
boost public confidence in clean sports.
While leading debate on the bill, Duoye explained that “if the bill is not urgently passed, Nigeria may be banned by WADA.“
“The implications are far reaching. So, there’s need to quickly look into its merits and demerits to enable us do what is right.’’
Giving a background account to the Bill, Duoye said that in competitive sports, doping referred to the use of banned athletic performance-enhancing drugs by competitors.
“The use of banned drugs to enhance performance is considered unethical, and therefore prohibited by most international sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee.
“Doping has spread to vulnerable athletic and non-athletic populations alike. Apart from performance enhancing considerations, people again dope to prevent pain and to improve their looks.
“There are health risks involved in doping. It can lead to kidney damage and increased aggression.
“Other side-effects include baldness and low sperm count for men, and increased facial hair and deepened voices for women.
Douye further explained that the Bill when passed would boost public confidence in any sporting activities.
According to him, establishment of the anti- dipping agency will boost public confidence and help Nigeria to compete in a clean environment. It will help our sport industry in partnering with other international bodies.
“The Bill is to ensure that the future of our youths who are interested in sports are guaranteed.’’ said Douye.
Contributing to the debate, Rep. Olabode Ayorinde (Ondo-APC), said: “we need a commission instead of putting up a whole agency especially when we are talking of cutting governance. We could make it a unit’’, he advised.
Other contributors who supported the Bill said if other nations had an anti dropping agency, there was nothing wrong with Nigeria having an anti dropping agency.
The House adopted the Bill after a voice vote was put up by Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara and was therefore referred to its committee on sports for further legislative action. (NAN)