AIU hands three-year ban to Grace Nwokocha over doping

AIU hands three-year ban to Grace Nwokocha over doping

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has handed Grace Nwokocha, Nigerian sprinter, a three-year ban for using prohibited substances.

The anti-doping body announced the sanction in a post on its official X account on Friday. In the document released by AIU, Nwokocha admitted to violating World Athletics (WA) anti-doping rules. She also accepted the penalty for the breach.

“The AIU, the athlete and the World Anti-Doping Agency (“the Parties”) subsequently entered into a Case Resolution Agreement in accordance with Rule 10.8.2 ADR pursuant to which: the Athlete acknowledges that she has been found to have committed ADRVs under Rule 2.1 and Rule 2.2 of the CGF ADR (and the ADR) by virtue of the CGF Decision, which is final and binding upon her; the Athlete agrees to be sanctioned with a period of Ineligibility of three (3) years,” the document reads.

The athlete had been provisionally suspended in September 2022 after she failed a doping test conducted on her during this year’s Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham.

At a hearing before the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Court in May, Nwokocha claimed the positive test had been caused by cross-contamination, claiming that an unnamed team-mate had drunken from her bottle of Lucozade during training at the Athletes Village.

This defence was rejected with the CGF Court finding her guilty of an anti-doping rule violation and disqualifying her individual and team results at Birmingham 2022.

In July, Nwokocha agreed to enter a case resolution agreement with the AIU and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

In the agreement, Nwokocha acknowledged she had committed anti-doping rule violations and agreed to a three-year suspension.

The start of her ban has been backdated to August 3 2022, the date the positive sample was collected, and will run through to August 2 2025.

Following the decision against Nwokocha, her team-mates in the women’s 4×100 metres relay final Joy Udo-Gabriel, Favour Ofili and Rosemary Chukwuma have also forfeited their medals from the race.

Nwokocha was a member of the quartet that won gold for Nigeria in the 4×100 meters race during the 2022 CWG.

In July, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) stripped Nigeria of the gold medal over Nwokocha’s doping case, which nullified all the results involving her at the competition.

Nwokocha competed in the women’s 100 metres at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where she reached the semi-finals.

She is also a multiple national champion, winning the 200m in 2021, and the 100m and 4x100m relay in 2022.

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