Blessing Okagbare

’s ban extended to 11 years

Blessing Okagbare, a Nigerian who finished second in the long jump in 2008, now has an 11-year ban from competing due to violations of athletic integrity.

The body issued Okagbare a 10-year suspension in February 2022 after finding her guilty of doping.

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As a result of Okagbare allegedly failing to respond to the allegations by the new deadline of June 21, 2022, the AIU extended her ban by one more year in a document released on Monday, June 27.

The 33-year-old athlete is supposed to have acknowledged breaking the anti-doping rules (under Rules 2.3 and 2.5 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules) and accepted the repercussions, according to the document.

The sprinter, 33, was disqualified from the Tokyo Olympics last year prior to the women’s 100-meter semifinals after testing positive for human growth hormone on July 19 in Slovakia during an out-of-competition test.

The Disciplinary Tribunal sentenced Okagbare to a ten-year suspension in February 2022, with two consecutive five-year suspensions, for the presence and use of numerous illegal substances as well as for her refusal to cooperate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.

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She tested positive for recombinant erythropoietin and human Growth Hormone, two illegal substances (EPO).

The decision was made as a result of the accusations the AIU made against Okagbare on October 7, 2021.

The AIU additionally accused Okagbare of evading sample collection and tampering with or attempting to tamper with the doping control process on June 10, 2022.

The charges were pursued based on information in a criminal complaint filed by the US Department of Justice under the Rodchenkov Act on 12 January 2022 against “naturopathic” therapist Eric Lira, who is based in the US, regarding the circumstances of the athlete’s whereabouts failure on June 13, 2021.

Athletes were allegedly given performance-enhancing drugs by Lira prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (delayed until summer 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

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A portion of the document stated

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“The AIU confirms by this decision the following consequences for the anti-doping rule violations: an increase of one (1) year to the period of Ineligibility of five (5) years already imposed upon the Athlete by the Tribunal in the Decision in accordance with Rule 10.4 ADR. This is based on the assumption that the Athlete is deemed to have admitted the anti-doping rule violations under Rule 2.3 ADR and Rule 2.5 ADR and accepted the consequences set out in the Second

Disqualification of the athlete’s performances since June 13, 2021, along with all repercussions, including forfeiture of any titles, honours, medals, point prizes, and appearance money; and 40.3. Disqualification of the performances of any relay teams in which the athlete participated since June 13, 2021, in accordance with Rule 11.3.1 ADR.

In accordance with Rule 8.5.6 ADR, this decision represents the AIU’s final determination.

In accordance with Rule 13.2.3 ADR, the Athlete, WADA, and the Nigerian National Anti-Doping Committee each have the right to appeal this ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, using the process outlined in Rule 13.6.1 ADR.

That is the latest Naija News Today on Blessing Okagbare’s ban extended to 11 years

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