Blessing Okagbare Recieves 10-year Ban Over Doping Violation, Refusal To Cooperate With AIU
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By Amaechi Agbo
Nigeria’s Queen of Track, Blessing Okagbare have been handed a 10-year ban for doping violations and refusal to cooperate with the Athletics Integrity Unit, AIU
The 33-year-old was handed five years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and five additional years for her refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case
Okagbare was a medal contender for the women’s 100m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after an impressive run of form.
She ran a wind-assisted 10.63 seconds at the Nigerian trials in June, before winning her heat in Tokyo in 11.05.
Okagbare then “tested positive for human growth hormone” on 19 July, ruling her out of the semi-finals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
What Happened At Tokyo Olympics
Blessing Okagbare, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 100m heats before being provisionally suspended, faced fresh charges from the Athletics Integrity Unit.
The AIU charged the 32-year-old Nigerian – an Olympic and world silver medallist and two-time Commonwealth champion – with use of the banned substances Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and EPO, while also allegedly failing to co-operate with the investigation.
The use of HGH was found in an out-of-competition sample collected on July 19 before it was reported to the AIU on July 30, the day upon which Okagbare won her 100m heat at the Olympics. She was then provisionally suspended one day after that race and forced to fly home from Tokyo.
In addition, EPO – also known as Erythropoietin – was found in another of the Nigerian’s out-of-competition samples, on June 20. Two days earlier, Okagbare had run a wind-assisted 10.63 for 100m in Lagos.
The AIU also stated that Okagbare “failed to comply with a formal requirement to produce relevant documents, records and electronic storage requirements by September 15”.
She denied all charges and the case was heard by an independent Disciplinary Tribunal.