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Nigerian Sprinter Blessing Okagbare Banned 10 Years For Doping Violations, Refusal to Cooperate With Investigations

  • 33-year-old refused to co-operate with Athletic Integrity Unit’s investigation

Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been banned for 10 years for doping and refusing to co-operate with the investigation, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday.

Okagbare, who won silver in the long jump at the Beijing 2008 Games, was provisionally suspended last year after testing positive for human growth hormone before the Tokyo Olympics and later hit with three separate anti-doping charges.

The 33-year-old had competed in the 100-metre heats in Tokyo on July 31 and was due to run in the semifinal before being suspended.

“The Disciplinary Tribunal has banned Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare for a total of 10 years, 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,” AIU said in a statement.

Okagbare also won silver in the long jump at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, while also securing a bronze in the 200m at the same event.

“We welcome the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal; a ban of 10-years is a strong message against intentional and co-ordinated attempts to cheat at the very highest level of our sport,” added Brett Clothier, head of the AIU.

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