Nigeria’s Sprinter Okagbare fails drugs test, suspended from Olympics

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Blessing Okagbare, a Nigerian Sprinter and 2008 Olympics long jump silver medalist has been provisionally suspended after failing a drug test.

Okagbare’s Tokyo Games ended abruptly on Saturday morning after she tested positive for human growth hormone in an out-of-competition test on July 19, four days before the Olympics opened, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said, prompting a mandatory provisional suspension.

The results of that test were received by the track and field’s anti-doping body only late on Friday and after Okagbare had already run in the 100 metres heats on the opening day of track competition at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, the AIU said.

The AIU informed Okagbare of her suspension on Saturday morning, it said, ruling her out of the 100 metres and likely ending her Olympic campaign.

Following AIU’s statement, Okagbare will not participate in Saturday’s semi-finals of the women’s 100 metres, for which she qualified on Friday with a time of 11.05 seconds.

Under doping regulations, she is allowed to request that a “B” sample – or backup sample – is tested to double-check the results.

The 32-year-old Okagbare won a silver medal in the long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and at the 2013 World Championships.

Okagbare’s suspension came three days after the AIU announced that 10 track and field athletes from Nigeria were among a group of 20 from various countries who were disqualified from competing at the Olympics because they had not met minimum doping test requirements. However, the AIU did not name any of those athletes.

PD Admin

Staff writer, The Postdale Daily

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