Team Nigeria’s sole representative in the men’s High Jump at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Mike Edwards, is appealing to the IAAF to rescind its earlier decision stopping him from competing at the Games which kick off next week.
According to Making of Champions, the 27-year old high jumper has become the latest victim of the IAAF’s indefinite freeze on the transfer of allegiance process, which was put in place on February 6 last year, largely for the purpose of protecting vulnerable African athletes from being poached by other nations.
However, Edwards was named on the Nigerian team to the Commonwealth Games in February, and revealed that he had been cleared by British Athletics to compete for Nigeria. The jumper is already in Australia for the Games and had been accredited by the Commonwealth Games Federation, only to receive a call from the IAAF telling him he was ineligible to compete at the Games because he represented Great Britain at the European Junior Championships nine years ago.
Edwards, who has a Jamaican father and Nigerian mother, has now picked a spot at the Games Village where he’s going to stand every single day in order to bring some awareness to his plight, while hoping that the international governing body changes its earlier stance before the competition begins.
He took to his Facebook page to share this:
“No shame. I’ll stand here every day until IAAF makes a change. It’s wrong what they’re doing. I’ve come too far. I’ve sacrificed way too much to fold at the Commonwealth Games. Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
“As a law abiding dual citizen of Great Britain and Nigeria, I should have every right to represent #TeamNigeria regardless if I chose to represent my birth country GB almost a decade ago, at a Jr. level Championship.
“I may not be the most decorated athlete in the world but I’m resilient. Remember, it’s been nine years since my last major Championship. I don’t quit easy… This sign is a representation of the levels I’m willing to take it too. I just want to compete. Call me back IAAF”.