Lagos City Marathon: Mary Akor Risks Fresh Sanctions After Shameful Deeds
Nigerian-born American runner, Mary Akor could face more sanctions from the athletics governing body, IAAF despite just coming out from a two-year doping ban.
Though not for doping issues this time, Akor was in bad light again as she caused a needless uproar during the prize presentation ceremony at last Saturday’s Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Though still an American athlete having duly switched her allegiance away from Nigeria, Akor forcefully wanted the prize reserved exclusively for Nigerian athletes at Saturday’s race.
The Nigerian prize was instituted by the organizers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to encourage Nigerian runners to participate in the marathon so that they can catch up with their counterparts from other parts of the world.
They believe, and rightly so, that Nigeria has the potential to excel in marathons.
Akor participated in the 2016 edition like other foreign athletes.
She placed 9th overall in the women’s category and she was paid $4000, being the prize money for the ninth-place runner.
Bounce Sports gathered that Akor tried to collect the N1Million prize money for the first Nigerian woman to cross at the finish for that year but she and her manager, Tony Osheku, were politely informed that she is not a Nigerian athlete as she had dumped Nigeria for the USA in 2004.
At the peak of her career, Akor chose to change allegiance from representing Nigeria to USA.
An official told Bounce Sports that when Akor wanted to claim first prize in 2016, she was informed that she needs to write to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN that she wants to start representing Nigeria again.
However, checks reveal that till date, Akor has not done the needful.
So, it was a huge surprise for many particularly- athletics buffs - when Akor forced her way to the podium when the first three Nigerian women: Deborah Pam, Olude Fadekemi and Olamide Oluwaseun were called to the podium to receive their prizes.
Akor, an athlete who dumped Nigeria at the peak of her career for whatever reasons jumped on the podium to claim a prize for Nigerian runners.
“She could face a stiffer penalty if the organizers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon decide to report her to IAAF for unruly behavior that could tarnish the good image of athletics.” One of the technical officials at the Lagos Marathon revealed.
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