Athletics Integrity Unit bans Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare for 10 years under doping charges

Reuters
Bangalore, India Updated: Feb 18, 2022, 10:01 PM(IST)

Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare also competed in the 100m heats in Tokyo on July 31. Photograph:( AFP )

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Beijing Olympics 2008 silver medallist Blessing Okagbare has been banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for 10 years for doping and refusing to co-operate with the investigation. 

Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been banned for 10 years for doping and refusing to co-operate with the investigation, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday.

Okagbare, who won silver in the long jump at the Beijing 2008 Games, was provisionally suspended last year after testing positive for human growth hormone before the Tokyo Olympics and later hit with three separate anti-doping charges.

The 33-year-old had competed in the 100m heats in Tokyo on July 31 and was due to run in the semi-final before being suspended.

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"The Disciplinary Tribunal has banned Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare for a total of 10 years, five years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and five years for her refusal to co-operate with the AIU's investigation into her case," AIU said in a statement

Okagbare also won silver in the long jump at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, while also securing a bronze in the 200m at the same event.

"We welcome the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal; a ban of 10-years is a strong message against intentional and coordinated attempts to cheat at the very highest level of our sport," added Brett Clothier, head of the AIU.

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