In a tale too common among female athletes, a US-based Nigerian weightlifter Gloria Moses has revealed how a national coach tried severally to sleep with her before she could be allowed to represent the country.
Moses claimed that after she refused the coach’s sexual overtures, she was framed up for drugs usage and was dropped from national camp in 2013, while preparing for a championship in Malaysia.
“They said I tested positive (for drugs) in 2013. If they didn’t throw me out of camp and tried to frustrate me, I would have been an Olympian today. Why did they do all these? Because Gloria Moses is a stubborn lifter who won’t sleep with her coach,” the athlete, who won three gold at the Rivers 2011 National Sports Festival, said.
“They said I tested positive. But after the dope test I had, a letter should have been sent to my state (Bayelsa) and another to me. But I didn’t get a copy of the result of the dope test and I requested for but nobody gave me any till now. The frustration was too much; that’s why I had to leave for America.
“In Nigeria, the coaches drop better female weightlifters for those that give them what they want. I’m okay with what they made me pass through; it was a challenge and it made me stronger. ”
Moses, an orphan, added that the frustration that came with her expulsion from national camp almost made her commit suicide in Lagos.
The 2009 NSF triple silver medallist added, “I was targeting gold (in Malaysia) in the snatch and jack events because I was in-form but the coach frustrated me, denied me the opportunity. I would have made some money if I won. Thereafter, I couldn’t pay my rent; and there was nobody to help me. If I had parents, they would have fought for me, but I had no one.
“Some male friends who knew my plight came to me and said, ‘let me give you N1,000 and sleep with you.’ I told them to go and die. I was helping some women at Shitta (in Lagos) to sell local herbs. They would give me food and I would hang on a bus to get home. At a time, I almost drank poison, but my fiance held me back. If not for him, I would have been dead by now.”
She said despite her ordeal at the hands of her coach, she would continue to represent Nigeria if given the opportunity.
“I will not change my nationality, I will look for a way and compete again and prove all of them wrong. I love the game and Nigeria is my country. We have bad leaders but it doesn’t mean we have to abandon our country. Someone has to make things happen.”