Nigerian female the 400 metres sprinter, Folashade Abugan, has hinted she would be back on track to re-launch her career from October 2012 after serving out her two-year ban.
Unlike in other nations of the world where such athletes are supported to come back strongly, Abugan, like her colleagues in such ship, sail on their own.
Abugan was disqualified from the 400 metres competition at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India and later was banned for two years after she tested positive for testosterone pro-hormone in her ‘A’ sample.
According to sources close to the athlete, “she has started light training in anticipation of her planned full re-launch of her career by October.”
The 400 metres bronze medalist at the 2007 All-Africa Games was quoted to have said: “I am fine now and doing much better. I have started my training. I was formerly in South Africa, but presently I am in Akure, Ondo state. I hope to be in Lagos next week. By October I will be back to start afresh.”
A source close to her said: “While on the two-year ban, no one from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria even put a two-minute call through to her to ask how she’s been faring. It is so sad. One would think that when you are down that is when you need the support. We are still running sports like absolute mediocre.”
At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Abugan had won two silver medals for Nigeria in the 400 metres and in 4×400 metres relay before organisers discovered she spiked her system with a banned substance and subsequently, stripped her of the two medals.
A former World Junior champion back in 2008, Abugan caused some stir when she alleged that the AFN had a hand in her drug use.
The particular official fingered in the allegation is presently one of the crowd of 11 assistants that are made to be helping national coach, Innocent Egbunike, towards the preparation for the London Olympics.
The allegation was expectedly denied by the AFN which labeled the athlete, who won a silver medal at the 2008 African Athletics Championships, as a sinking man that wanted to drag others along.
Abugan would be hoping to join the long list of athletes, like Olympic Gold medalist, Chioma Ajunwa, that came back from serving various drug offences ban to rule their event.