Blessing Okagbare’s Doping Ban Extended To 11 Years
Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been handed an extra one-year ban for additional doping violations to add to her existing 10-year suspension.
The Athletics Integrity Unit charged her with “evading sample collection, and tampering or attempted tampering with the doping control process”.
In February, the 33-year-old was handed her original ban for “multiple breaches of anti-doping rules”.
She was suspended during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after failing a drug test.
As a result of Okagbare’s additional ban, Nigeria has lost its potential qualification place in the women’s 4x100m relay at July’s World Championships in Oregon.
Six days after she evaded sample collection – on 13 June 2021 – she competed in the relay event at Nigeria’s Olympic trials, helping her team to qualify for the World Championships. However, all results involving Okagbare have now been disqualified.
“Over the years, we have repeatedly seen how one person’s actions adversely affect team-mates who have trained hard and worked honestly for their results,” AIU head Brett Clothier said in a statement.
“In this instance, Nigeria has lost an important qualification spot. Those are the rules and we will not compromise on integrity.”
Okagbare, the 2008 Olympic long jump silver medallist, was a medal contender for the women’s 100m in Tokyo last year and won her heat in 11.05 seconds.
But she was ruled out of the semi-finals after the AIU said she had tested positive for a human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test on 19 July.
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