Home SPORTS GIST Athletics NIGERIAN SPRINTER BLESSING OKAGBARE FACES THREE COUNTS IN DOPING CASE

NIGERIAN SPRINTER BLESSING OKAGBARE FACES THREE COUNTS IN DOPING CASE

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Farouq Oduola A.

Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare is facing three counts in a doping case that came to light when she was prevented from competing in the Olympic 100-meter quarterfinals just hours before the race.

Okagbare tested positive for blood booster EPO in Nigeria in June, as well as another failed test for human growth hormone in Slovakia in July, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit, which was announced at the Olympics.

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According to the AIU, Okagbare was also charged with failing to cooperate with the investigation after she refused to comply with an order to submit “documents, records, and electronic storage devices” in connection with the other charges.

She has not responded to the allegations, but the AIU has stated that she denies all allegations and has requested a disciplinary hearing.

When the AIU informed Okagbare that she had been provisionally suspended due to a human growth hormone test, she had just won her 100 heat at the Tokyo Olympics.

She criticized Nigerian sports officials during the Olympics after other Nigerian competitors were barred from competing due to insufficient drug testing in the months leading up to the Games. Officials were “forgetting their primary job, ‘THE ATHLETES,'” she tweeted.

Okagbare recorded a personal-best 10.63 seconds in the 100 metres at the Nigerian championships three days before the EPO positive in June, barely 0.02 seconds slower than eventual winner and Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah. Because of a significant tailwind, Okagbare’s time is not considered legitimate by World Athletics records.

At the 2008 Olympics, Okagbare won bronze in the long jump. When a Russian athlete was banned for doping, it was upgraded to a silver medal. She won silver in the long jump and bronze in the 200 metres at the 2013 World Championships. In 2014, Okagbare also won the 100 and 200 metres at the Commonwealth Games.

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