One of Africa’s most anticipates races at the IAAF race was abruptly denied fans of the Botswanan Isaac Makwala.
The IAAF denied the runner entry into the London Stadium because according to their health examinations, he seemed to have a contagious gastrointestinal disease.
The African power runner had reportedly been vomiting consistently the day before the scheduled race. Isaac is believed to have the norovirus.
Norovirus is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans.
The highly contagious infection is gotten from contaminated food, water, surfaces and contacts with infected persons. Its symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or cramps, diarrhea, fever and muscle pain.
Consequently, 30-year old Isaac Makwala failed to participate in Tuesday’s 400m finals. Fans considered him a threat to Wayde van Niekerk who clinched his 2nd world championship in the said race.
In defense of their decision IAAF said they acted under instructions to quarantine athletes who showed symptoms of the virus.
“The team doctor, team leader and team physio had been informed following the medical examination that the athlete should be quarantined for 48 hours and would therefore be missing the 400m final on Tuesday.”
Pam Venning, head of medical at the IAAF, says it was needful that the infected persons were kept away from the crowd to avoid further break out of the virus.
Isaac Makwala first registered his anger for not being pre-informed before being embarrassed by a security official at the stadium. He also wanted to know if the likes of Mo Farah or Usain Bolt would be subjected to the sane fate if they were in his shoes.
While the IAAF has insisted they had communicated with the Botswana delegation that Makwala will not be competing, Olympic boss, Falcon Sedimo countered it.
“There has been no official communication, no formal communication from the IAAF at all. We found out from the media that he could not take part and he is heartbroken.”
Botswana medical team member Simon O’Brien insinuated the Isaac was being victimized by the IAAF. He also insists that there was nothing wrong with Isaac during the time they were together.
“He’s fit, he’s very well, he’s prepared to run, and he’s just being kept away by the IAAF,”
London reports confirm that about 30 athletes and team members at the world athletics championships, lodged at the Tower Hotel were infected with the norovirus.
Public Health England and IAAF probed into the virus outbreak and concluded that the virus did not come from the hotel.
Extending his sympathy towards the star, the 2 time world champ, Wayde van Niekerk said:
“I would love him to have his fair opportunity. I believe he would have done very very well. I’ve got so much sympathy. I really wish I could give him my medal.”
Many observers have said that while the health of the athletes is a priority, IAAF would have communicated early enough with the barred athlete.
After much criticisms, IAAF has given the green-light for the Botswanan runner to run for the 200m category. Meanwhile, Isaac has completed the stipulated 48 hour isolation period to prevent the spread of the business.
According to the IAAF statement:
“Given his quarantine period expired at 14:00hrs (1300GMT) today (9 Aug) and following a medical examination which has declared him fit to compete, we have agreed under our existing rules that assuming he makes the qualification time, he will run in the 200m semi-final round this evening,”
“Makwala is required to run a time of 20.53 or faster to advance to the semi-finals.”