Nigeria has withdrawn its participation in the Youth Olympics holding in Nanjing, China, from August 16 to 28, 2014.
The withdrawal according to the Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeye, was as a result of discrimination against Nigerian athletes because of the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country.
Since arrival in China, Elegbleye, said Nigerian athletes have suffered untold discrimination in the hands of their hosts, the Chinese, who have isolated them.
Even after being quarantined, the athletes are still being isolated and barred from training alongside other athletes.
Prompt News gathered that the Chinese Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria is also reluctant to issue visas to officials and other Nigerians who are willing to witness the maiden Youth Olympics.
In a statement signed Wednesday by the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye Nigeria protested to the organisers that the treatment to the Nigerian athletes were inhuman.
And in a television interview, the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Tunde Popoola, who confirmed the withdrawal said that Team Nigeria pulled out of the competition in order to prevent the athletes from being traumatized due to the negative treatment they were receiving from the Chinese officials.
“We don’t want them to be subjected to some kind of treatment. They are young and we need them now than ever, wherever they are.
“We don’t need to disturb their psyche, we don’t need to put them under unnecessary psychological trauma, so, the best thing to do is to return them back home. They have better future. Popoola said.
The NOC scribe noted that all the Nigerian representatives were tested by the authority in Nanjng, adding that none tested positive to the Ebola virus.
“But they are there now, and the way it is, from the surrounding situation, they cannot walk around freely. And if you are not able to move freely, I think it will also traumatize you,” he added.
Team Nigeria were to participate in three sports – Athletics, Wrestling and Beach Vollleyball, with fourteen athletes and five officials representing the country.