Divine Oduduru provisionally suspended for suspected doping

Divine Oduduru provisionally suspended for suspected doping

Divine Oduduru faces up to a six-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit for allegedly being ‘Athlete 2’ in Blessing Okagbare‘s doping scandal case.

Nigerian 200m record holder Divine Oduduru, has been provisionally suspended by Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), concerning Blessing Okagbare’s doping scandal case, which he is alleged to be ‘Athlete 2’.

The AIU released the statement on its website, saying it has notified Oduduru of “two potential Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) and is seeking a six-year ban against the Nigerian.

“The sprinter has been notified of potential ADRVs for possession (Rule 2.6 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules; ADR) and/or use or attempted use of multiple prohibited substances (Rule 2.2 ADR). He has been provisionally suspended immediately.”

More details on the website read: “These alleged violations stem from an AIU investigation based on information in a criminal charge brought against US-based ‘naturopathic’ therapist Eric Lira, on January 12, 2022, by the United States Department of Justice under the Rodchenkov Act. Lira is alleged to have supplied performance-enhancing drugs to athletes before the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“The complaint against Lira provides specific information regarding persons identified as ‘Athlete 1’ and ‘Athlete 2’. In February 2022, a sole arbitrator of the AIU Disciplinary Tribunal concluded that they were “comfortably satisfied” that ‘Athlete 1’ was Oduduru’s team-mate, Blessing Okagbare, and banned her from the sport for ten years, which was increased to an 11-year ban in June 2022 following further charges brought by the AIU.

“Based on the information in the complaint, including text conversations imaged from Okagbare’s mobile phone by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and further evidence obtained from the AIU investigation, the AIU alleges that Oduduru is ‘Athlete 2’ identified in the complaint.

“As the process is ongoing, the AIU will make no further comment on the matter at this time.” read the statement on the website.

Oduduru has been off athletics radar since August 3, 2021, when he ran 20.16s to place third in his 200m semifinal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. He was supposed to make a comeback at the National Sports Festival in Asaba last year, but pulled out with complaints of sustaining an injury during his warm-up sessions.