The Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) has disqualified swimmer, Dino Ebarakumo and repealed six medals, four gold and two silver that he won in the pool for Bayelsa state.
The disqualification follows a protest letter that was tendered by Team Rivers over Ebarakumo’s last minute snub of Rivers state in a bid to represent Bayelsa at the festival.
According to Team Rivers, Ebarakumo was contracted, camped, trained and registered by them for the festival only for him to stab them in the back and competed for Bayelsa State in Benin.
While speaking earlier about the development, Head of Team Rivers and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Sir Honour Sirawoo, declared that the Rivers State would protest and use every means permissible to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion as no athlete should be allowed to swindle the state. He could not understand how the organisers of the games permitted him to compete for Bayelsa with Rivers state’s tag and registration.
He said: “It’s not possible for his medals to stand, we registered him and his name appeared on our DMR document, so, there is no way he can get away with what he has done.”
With the disqualification of Ebarakumo and his medals, Bayelsa’s medal count has dropped and may affect them at the end of the day.
However, Team Rivers encountered some testing moments after few athletes they were counting on for medals, especially, in tennis, were declared ineligible to participate.
In a situation which could be likened to a gang up against the team, it was discovered that the names of the athletes, who were registered for the games were discovered to be missing from the official registration documents, some hours to the start of their event.
In his reaction, Sir Sirawoo said that the matter would be investigated and steps would be taken to right the wrong if any, but the team would not allow what happened to distract them from t achieving their objective at the competition.