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Okagbare breaks 38-year old record

Okagbare begins four-year ban over banned drugs

Nigeria Queen of the tracks, Blessing Okagbare hopes of returning to the tracks may have been dashed following her failure to upturn the suspension placed on her by World Athletics (WA) after failing an out-of-competition test.

The U.S.-based sprinter was thrown out of the Tokyo Olympics Games on the eve of the semifinals of the women’s 100m after testing positive for human growth hormone.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) revealed then that Okagbare failed an out-of-competition test taken on July 19. She appealed against the suspension immediately, insisting on seeing the result of her B Sample.

According to the Guardian, Okagbare, a medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, was allegedly handed four-year ban after the result of her B Sample came out with the same result.

“Okagbare started her four-year ban long ago. It is just unfortunate Blessing Okagbare found herself in this mess. When the result of her A Sample came out, Okagbare had the option of accepting it, which could have seen her ban reduced to two or three years, but she insisted on her B Sample. I pity her though, but WA wants all athletes to compete and win clean. Okagbare’s ban may elapse before the Paris 2024 Olympics,,” a source close to World Athletics (WA) said.

Okagbare had won her heat on Friday (July 30) during the Olympic Games, and was meant to compete in the women’s 100 metres semifinals the next day, when the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) officially announced her suspension in the morning.

The AIU explained then that the Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list, and a provisional suspension on Okagbare was mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such substance under the World Athletics anti-doping rules.

“The WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at midday Central European Time on Friday, July 30. The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo.”

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