ATHLETICS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA FOOTS MEDICAL BILL OF A RETIRED ATHLETE IN DISTRESS
The Board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the welfare of Athletes including those who have retired with Gloria Kemasuode being the latest beneficiary.
About a fortnight ago, a journalist with New Waves Newspaper, a regional Publication of the Bayelsa State Government, Loveday Herbert first broke the news of the former Nigerian Athlete with pictures showing her bad condition at the Samson SiaSia Stadium in the Bayelsa State Capital, Yenagoa.
The report spurred the Board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria into taking a decision to assist the former Sprinter regain her complete health by ensuring her admission into the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, where she is currently receiving treatment.
President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau on Tuesday, July 23 lead a 3 member delegation from Abuja to Yenagoa to see Gloria Kemasuode and assess her condition.
At the ward where she is receiving medical attention, the delegation assured Gloria Kemasuode that she is not alone as the bigger AFN Family cares for all especially those who represented Nigeria and are now in distress, unable to fend for themselves.
He expressed happiness on the now stable condition of the former Athlete emphasising that they will continue to monitor the recovery of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Silver Medallist.
Speaking to Journalists at the health Facility, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau commended the Journalist who first broke the story, Loveday Herbert and stressed that despite the poor financial position of the Athletics Ruling Body in Nigeria, welfare of its Athletes remains top priority.
Receiving the delegation in his office, on behalf of the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre Yenagoa, Head of Clinical Services, Dr. James Enimi Omietimi commended the Athletics Federation of Nigeria for taking the rare step in looking after a retired Athlete stressing that it should serve as a morale booster for active Athletes to always give their best to their Fatherland.
Dr. Omietimi, who is also a member of the Nigeria Football Federation Medical Committee, assured that FMC Yenagoa has the capacity to take care of Gloria Kemasuode and praised the AFN president for personally taking charge of the situation. He told the delegation that Gloria may be at the facility for a long time to fully recover.
In his response, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau said the Board is just doing the right thing and appealed to FMC Yenagoa to do their best in helping the former Athlete regain her health promising to continue footing her medical Bill.
He revealed that AFN is planning to introduce the National Health Insurance Scheme to its Athletes to take care of their health concerns.
A member of the delegation from Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. Dr. Ozi Onimisi, a sports Physician said a full diagnosis of the Patient is yet to be conducted but confirmed Miss Kemasuode is being treated for drug abuse and depression.
Gloria Kemasuode Ubiebor was part of Nigeria’s relay Team to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and competed in the 4×100 metres alongside Agnes Osazuwa, Oludamola Osayomi and Ene Franca Idoko.
After qualifying for the final, Agnes Osazuwa was replaced by Halimat Ismaila with the quartet winning bronze in 43.03 behind Russia and Belgium.
In 2016, IOC stripped Russia of the gold medal due to doping violations by one of the Russian Athletes, Yuliya Chermoshanskaya. This development uplifted Belgium to the Gold, Nigeria to Silver and Brazil earning Bronze.
Gloria Kemasuode also won gold in the 4x100min 43.79 at the 2008 CAA Championships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Gloria Kemasuode failed a drugs test at the Circuito de Corridas e Caminhada in Brazil and was banned from competition for two years starting from July 24 2009 to 23 July 2011.
Chairman Media Committee, AFN