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Tokyo Olympics: Blessing Okagbare Disqualified

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Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare has been disqualified from the tournament after testing positive for human growth hormone, a banned substance.

In a statement in which this was disclosed, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the anti-doping body said Okagbare tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test on July 19 – four days before the Olympics opened.

The results of that test, according to the AIU, were only received by the track and field’s anti-doping body in the late hours of Friday, July 30, 2021, which was after Okagbare, who won her heat in 11.05seconds, qualified for the semifinals of women’s 100m race at the Olympics

With the suspension, Nigeria’s hope for a medal has suffered a setback, as the country’s queen of the track will no longer compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

The statement read, “The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria today with immediate effect after a sample collected from the sprinter tested positive for human Growth Hormone.

“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 for such substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

“The AIU collected the sample from Ms. Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July. The WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at mid-day Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo. She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m this evening.

“The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”

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