Doping Violations: Blessing Okagbare Reacts To 10-Year Ban
Blessing Okagbare has reacted to the 10-year doping ban issued to her by the Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU) for breaching multiple anti-doping rules.
In a press statement on Friday, the AIU announced that its disciplinary tribunal had prohibited the Nigerian sprinter from participating in World Athletics-sanctioned track and field event for the next 10 years.
The 33-year-old athlete got a five-year ban for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and another half-a-decade for her refusal to cooperate with the AIU’s investigation of her case.
Reacting to the development in a tweet posted on Saturday, Okagbare acknowledged the ban, adding that her “lawyers are currently studying it for our next line of action”.
“My attention has been drawn to the statement issued by the AIU regarding its disciplinary panel decision. My lawyers are currently studying it for our next line of action, which we will inform you soon,” the tweet reads.
The case had been ongoing since the sprinter was suspended indefinitely during the Tokyo Olympics after the AIU adjudged her to have tested positive for human growth hormone in one of the out-of-competition drug examinations she did in Slovakia on July 19.
She was thereafter slammed with three separate anti-doping charges in October 2021.
In January 2022, the US department of justice had identified Okagbare as an “accomplice” in the case against Eric Lira, the self-acclaimed kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor who provided performance-enhancing drugs to athletes who participated at the Tokyo Olympics.