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Blessing Okagbare

Blessing Okagbare BANNED 10 years for doping

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Blessing Okagbare was on Friday handed a 10-year ban in a statement by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) following her expulsion from last year’s Tokyo Olympics for doping violations.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics long jump silver medalist was handed ‘five years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and five years for her refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.’

Blessing Okagbare was on Friday handed a 10-year ban in a statement by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) following her expulsion from last year’s Tokyo Olympics for doping violations.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics long jump silver medalist was handed ‘five years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and five years for her refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.’

Okagbare, though not named, was identified in an indictment last month brought against Texas therapist Eric Lira, her alleged supplier.

US justice department officials in New York said Eric Lira, a 41-year-old “naturopathic” therapist based in El Paso, supplied drugs to two athletes for the “purpose of corrupting” the Tokyo Games.

Brett Clothier, Head of the AIU, described the ruling as ‘a strong message against intentional and co-ordinated attempts to cheat at the very highest level of our sport.’

At 33, Blessing Okagbare is already at the peak of her career in athletics and the ban may just have drawn the curtains for Nigeria’s queen of track and field if she loses an appeal.

She has 30 days to appeal the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

She will be 43 by the time she’s through serving the ban in the event that she loses the appeal, and not too many athletes remain active to that age.

The Sapele born sprinter represented Nigeria at three Olympics in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relays and long jump.

 

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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