Amalaha, Women's 53kg Winner Tested Positive Because She Drank ‘Zobo’ – Coach
Treasurer of Nigeria Weighlifting Coaches Association, Andrew Ekanem has revealed that Chika Amalaha, who was stripped of her gold medal after testing positive to a banned substance at the just concluded Commonwealth Games, might have got the prohibited substance from her consistent drinking of a local drink called ‘Zobo’.
Amalaha, 16, who won the women’s 53kg competition, provided positive “A” and “B” samples that contained prohibited diuretics and masking agents and had to be stripped of the medal she won. Ekanem believes she was the architect of her own misfortune by drinking ‘zobo’.
Reports said Amalaha had been warned several times against drinking ‘Zobo’, but all the entreaties fell on deaf ears. The weightlifting coach alleged further that even the medical team warned her against drinking the local drink at the Abuja camp before the Games, but she always sneaked out of camp to have the drink.
While expressing dismay over the fate that befell Amalaha, Ekanem who was close to tears alleged thus:
‘‘It was unfortunate that Amalaha was stripped of the medal she won at the Commonwealth Games, I could recall that after she was warned against drinking ‘Zobo’ after the African Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana last May where she won three gold medals, when we returned to Abuja for camping ahead of the Commonwealth Games, she still sneaked out to drink ‘Zobo’ again.’’
Amalaha was Nigeria’s first gold medal winner in Glasgow, equaling the Games snatch record of 82kg with her first attempt before lifting 85kg on her third. According to the International Weightlifting Federation, she was the youngest woman to win a weightlifting title in the Games history.
Meanwhile, after Amalaha was stripped of the medal, Dika Toua from Papua New Guinea was awarded the gold medal with the India duo Santoshi Matsa and Swati Singh claiming silver and bronze respectively.
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