Ghana’s 17-year old weightlifter Juliana Arkoh has allegedly threatened to commit suicide at the Youth Olympics currently ongoing in Nanjing if her per diem is not paid.
The threat,confirmed by Ghana’s chef de mission for the Games, Mr.Arko-Dadzie, was made to officials of the Local Organising Committee of the Games in the Chinese city and has led to the IOC requesting she be put under observation whilst counsellors talk to her because of her mental state.
Speaking to Accra-based Happy FM, Mr.Arko-Dadzie said they were alerted by the organisers of the games, who summoned Ghanaian officials to explain the situation. According to him,the Chinese authorities in charge of the Games recorded Arkoh’s complaint on video.
Mr.Arkoh said the IOC asked the matter to be treated as an internal team issue but has set an August 25 deadline for Ghana to pay her all her per diems.
“I have written to the Ministry of Youth and Sports,the National Sports Authority and the Ghana Olympic Committee to facilitate the per diem of our athletes just like they did during the Commonwealth Games.I am hopeful they will deliver before the 25 August deadline.
Arkoh’s complaints include being owed per diem since 2013 and her forced absence from the Commonwealth Games. She is the country’s best weightlifter and was a nominee for the Sports Writers Association of Ghana(SWAG) Sports Personality of the year in 2013.