Lee Edward Evans, the 1968 double Olympic champion of the United States, has been banned by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for a period of four years. This ban was imposed on Evans after AFN found the former athlete guilty of administering performance enhancing substances to a minor athlete.
According to AFN, Evans and Nigerian youth coach Abbas Rauf gave banned substances to the athletes last year that may have been responsible for her failing a doping test. Abbas was given a life ban and is planning to contest the ban imposed by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria. Evans may now head to the Court of Arbitration for Sports to get his hard earned reputation in athletics back.
Abbas, who also runs the Greater Tomorrow Athletics Club, was accused of taking a minor athlete to a medical doctor who injected an unknown substance despite the athlete not been sick. However, Abbas Rauf claimed that he took the athlete to the doctor for receiving treatment for malaria. Abbas added that the athlete left his custody long before she was caught of doping at the 2013 Africa Youth Games (AYG) in Warri. He remarked he believe the panel did not do their investigation very well and the athlete in question has left me since 2011 before she was caught for doping in 2013 in Warri so how would he know how she got whatever she had in her system. Abbas also claimed that young brains like him who wanted to find world beaters for Nigeria are increasingly being frustrated out of the system instead of being encouraged.
On the other hand, Evans claimed he gave "supplements" in February and March 2013 to the girl for her "health" and those substances were not prohibited. However, AFN's four-member disciplinary panel found Evans guilty of providing performance enhancing substances to the minor athletes and imposed a ban on him for four years from February 17.
Bruce Ijirigho, who recruited coach Lee for the Cross River grassroots development program, said it was unfortunate to find out that his one time pal found himself in the dope mess. He said if you give any supplement that is bound to enhance the performance of any athlete that is doping, it does not matter whether they are on the banned list or not.
In its statement, the AFN said the athlete claimed she collapsed after the injection and when she was revived, she asked the coach why he brought her to be injected and Abbas remarked she should have confidence in him that he could not harm her. It was also revealed that the coach warned the minor athlete not to disclose what happened to anyone although she confided in her mother.
Evans won two gold medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics. A Fulbright Scholar, Evans was coached by Hall of Famer Lloyd (Bud) Winter, when he attended San Jose State University. In 1983, Lee Evans was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame and his time of 43.86 seconds was the first sub-44-second run in the 400 is still the seventh fastest of all time.
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