Sports minister denies asking athletes to buy flight tickets to Rio

By Femi Adefioye, Lagos

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has denied the news making the rounds suggesting that he has directed foreign-based athletes taking part in this year Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to buy flight tickets.In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Nnemeka Anibeze on Saturday, Dalung said the clarification was necessary following the discovery of a letter, said to have originated from the ministry, asking athletes to buy their tickets to the Olympics.

Dalung in the statement made it clear that the Director of High Performance in the ministry, Angie Taylor, has the responsibility of arranging for the athletes’ flight to the Games.

“We did not write any mail asking athletes to pay their way to Rio. As the overseers of sports in the country, it is our duty to take care of all our athletes. The letter did not come from us and we will investigate the writer of the letter.

“It does not represent our position on the movement of athletes to Rio and the writer or anybody asking athletes to buy their tickets to Rio will be investigated. We ask Nigerians and the athletes in particular to disregard the mail.”

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