Doping: Blessing Okagbare’s ban extended to 11yrs

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has extended the ban placed on Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare, by one-year after she committed additional anti-doping rule violations.

AIU in a statement on Monday night, June 27, said Okagbare specifically evaded sample collection, and tampered or attempted tampering with the doping control process.

Recall that in February 2022, a 10-year-ban was handed down to Okagbare by the body after she was found guilty of doping. The ban, has however, been ended by one year (now 11 years in total).

Okagbare was suspended on July 31, 2021 from the semi finals of the women’s 100m of the last Olympic Games in Tokyo. On the even of the event last year in Tokyo, AIU announced that the double Commonwealth Games sprint winner in Glasgow had tested positive for human growth hormones.

Further investigation of the case by FBI revealed that Okagbare was involved in an orchestrated doping plot involving a US-based “naturopathic” therapist Eric Lira.

“On the basis that the Athlete is deemed to have admitted the anti-doping rule violations under Rule 2.3 ADR and Rule 2.5 ADR and accepted the consequences set out in the Second Charge, the AIU confirms by this decision the following consequences for the anti-doping rule viol@tions: an increase of one (1) year to the period of Ineligibility of five (5) years already imposed upon the Athlete by the Tribunal in the Decision in accordance with Rule 10.4 ADR.

Disqualification of the Athlete’s results since 13 June 2021, with all resulting Consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money; and 40.3. disqualification of the results of any relay team in which the Athlete competed since 13 June 2021 in accordance with Rule 11.3.1 ADR.

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This decision constitutes the final decision of the AIU pursuant to Rule 8.5.6 ADR. Further to Rule 13.2.3 ADR, the Athlete, the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) and the Nigerian National Anti-Doping Committee have a right of appeal against this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland,

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