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Nigeria disqualified from World Championships’ women’s 4x100m over Okagbare’s ban

Nigeria disqualified from World Championships’ women’s 4x100m over Okagbare’s ban
June 28
09:33 2022

The Nigerian women’s 4×100 meters relay team has been disqualified from participating in the upcoming World Athletic Championship due to Blessing Okagbare’s doping case.

The sanction was announced in a statement by Brett Clothier, head of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), on Monday night.

Okagbare was said to have evaded sample collection on June 13, 2021. Six days later, she competed in the relay event at Nigeria’s Olympic trials.

At the event, the Beijing Olympic bronze medalist helped the country book a potential place at the World Athletics Championships billed for July in Oregon, US. She was later found to have committed anti-doping rule violations.

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Consequently, AIU said, “all individual and relay results involving Okagbare, from June 13, 2021, are now disqualified under the rules.”

“Over the years, we have repeatedly seen how one person’s actions adversely affect team-mates who have trained hard and worked honestly for their results,” Clothier said.

“In a relay team, if one member violates the anti-doping rules, everyone bears the brunt of results being expunged. They all pay the price. In this instance, Nigeria has lost an important qualification spot. Those are the rules and we will not compromise on integrity.”

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In February, Okagabre had been hit with a 10-year doping ban for breaching multiple anti-doping rules.

The case began 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 and was slammed with an indefinite suspension.

She was thereafter handed three separate anti-doping charges in October 2021.

In January 2022, the US department of justice had also allegedly identified Okagbare among the exhibits gathered against Eric Lira, the self-acclaimed kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor, who provided performance-enhancing drugs to athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics.

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On June 10, AIU further charged the Nigerian with “evading sample collection, and tampering or attempted tampering with the doping control process.”

Consequently, AIU extended Okagbare’s initial 10-year ban by a year.

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