Photo: Blessing Okagbare
Blessing Okagbare, Nigerian sprint legend, has been suspended from the Tokyo Olympic Games after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), a unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) founded to combat doping in athletics, in a statement said the Nigerian veteran had tested positive for Growth Hormone.
According to the AIU, in the statement, “Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, and a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding.”
With this latest development, it implies that Okagbare who was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m will no longer compete in the Games.
AIU explained that samples collected from Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on Monday, July 19, 2021, returned a positive test on Friday, June 30.
The statement further said that Okagbare had been notified of her test result and her provisional suspension. She had earlier competed in the women’s 100m Heat, where she won her Heat to progress to the semifinals.
Okagbare, 32, is the leading face of women sports in Nigeria, as an Olympic and World Championships medalist in the long jump and a world medalist in the 200 meters. She also holds the Women’s 100 meters Commonwealth Games record for the fastest time at 10.85 seconds.
Earlier on Wednesday, the AIU had announced that 10 Track & Field Nigerian athletes had been banned from the Olympics for not having enough testing before the Games, spelling a doom of sorts for Team Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics.
Nigeria’s female basketball team, D’Tigress, also saw two consecutive defeats by their U.S and France counterparts at the Tokyo Olympics.