Nigerian Sprinter Blessing Okagbare banned for 10 years for ‘multiple’ anti-doping breaches
Blessing Okagbare, a Nigerian sprinter, has been banned for ten years for “repeated violations of anti-doping guidelines.”
According to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the 33-year-old was suspended for five years for the usage of numerous illegal substances and another five for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
She was suspended following a positive drug test during the Tokyo Olympics.
The AIU’s head, Brett Clothier, stated that a ten-year suspension sends a “clear message against attempts to cheat.”
At the 2008 Olympics, Okagbare won a silver medal in the long jump and has also won World Championship medals in the 200m and long jump.
In Tokyo last year, she was a medal contender in the women’s 100m, winning her heat in 11.05 seconds.
However, she was knocked out of the semi-finals by the AIU after testing positive for human growth hormone on 19 July during an out-of-competition test.
Okagbare was charged with three anti-doping offenses in October, which she has denied.
Okagbare has 30 days to file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the AIU’s disciplinary tribunal’s verdict (CAS).