Tokyo 2020: Blessing Okagbare Suspended From Participating In Olympics

Tokyo 2020: Blessing Okagbare Suspended From Participating In Olympics

By Amaechi Agbo

Nigeria’s hope of Winning Medals at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics in Japan has suffered another set back after one of the country’s medal hopefuls in track event, Blessings Okagbare was early Saturday suspended from the Olympic Games, Bestchoicesport.com.nh can report.

The World Athletics, WA through its Athletics Integrity Unity, AIU handed the former Olympic medallist the suspension over her failed test in in use of banned “human growth hormone” by the World Anti- Doping Agency, WADA which she was said to have used out of game.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) ts the independent body created by the World Athletics that manages all integnty issues both doping and non-doping for the sport of athletics

The AIU in a release Saturday noted that the test on the use of the bad substance was carries out on Ms Okagbare on 19th July adding that the result came out late Friday, July 30, 2021.

Consequently, the AIU noted that the athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo.

Ms Okagbare was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m this evening.

The suspension comes with a huge heartbreak for them Nigeria because Okagbare and Grace Nwokocha on Friday qualified for the semi-final of the 100m race at the Olympics.

Human Growth hormone (GH) or somatotropin, is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans and other animals.

Below is AIU’s press statement obtained by our correspondent:

“The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria today with immediate effect after a sample collected from the sprinter tested positive for human Growth Hormone.

AIU’s letter suspending Okagbare

“Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such substance under the World Athletics Anti Doping Rules.

“The AIU collected the sample from Ms. Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July. The WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at mid day Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo. She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m this evening.

The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”

This is one setback too many as 10 of the Nigeria athetes were on Wednesday disqualified from participating in the Olympics due to their failure to conduct three out-of-competition tests prior to the Olympics.

Earlier on Friday, the disqualified athletes took to the streets if Japan to protest over the negligence by the Team Nigeria officials.

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