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Okagbare charged with three anti-doping offences

Okagbare charged with three anti-doping offences
October 07
16:09 2021

Blessing Okagbare has been slammed with three separate anti-doping charges by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

During the Tokyo Olympics, the sprinter was suspended indefinitely after 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.

There has been little information about the investigation since then.

However, in a statement released on Thursday, AIU stated that it had levelled another two charges against Okagbare.

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The statement said that the second charge was in relation to recombinant erythropoietin (EPO), another banned substance, detected in her sample, which was collected during another out-of-competition test on June 20 in Nigeria.

While the third charge was issued over the Nigerian’s “refusal to co-operate with AIU’s investigation into the case.”

“The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has issued charges against Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare in relation to three separate disciplinary matters. The athlete has been charged with the presence, and use of a prohibited substance following the detection of Human Growth Hormone in a sample collected out-of-competition on July 19 in Slovakia and reported to the AIU on July 30,” the statement read.

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“This matter was publicly announced on July 31 when Ms Okagbare was provisionally suspended. She had been scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the Tokwomen’swomen’s 100m that”day.

“The athlete has also been charged with the presence and use of a prohibited substance following the detection of recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) in a sample collected out-of-competition on June 20 in Nigeria. The AIU requested EPO analysis be conducted on the sample on July 29 and the adverse analytical finding was reported to the AIU on Augu”t 12.

“Ms Okagbare was notified of the adverse analytical finding on August 20. Human Growth Hormone and EPO are non-specified substances on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. A provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such a substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, and the athlete remains provisionally suspended.

“Finally, the AIU has issued a further charge against Ms Okagbare in accordance with Rule 12 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules following the athlete’s refusal to co-operate  AIU’s investigation into her case. Specifically, it is alleged that the athlete failed to comply with a formal requirement to produce relevant documents, records and electronic storage devices, which was issued to the athlete by the AIU on September 15.”

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The statement added that Okagbare denied both charges of using two different banned substances while requesting that each of them is submitted to a hearing before the disciplinary tribunal.

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