Blessing Okagbare: Nigerian sprinter banned for 10 years for ‘multiple’ anti-doping breaches
Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been given a 10-year ban for “multiple breaches of anti-doping rules”.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said the 33-year-old was banned for five years for the use of multiple prohibited substances and five for not co-operating with the investigation.
Okagbare was suspended during the Tokyo Olympics after failing a drug test.
Brett Clothier, head of the AIU, said a 10-year ban was “a strong message against attempts to cheat”.
Okagbare won a silver medal in the long jump at the 2008 Olympics and has also won World Championship medals in the 200m and long jump.
She was a medal contender for the women’s 100m in Tokyo last year and won her heat in 11.05 seconds.
But she was ruled out of the semi-finals after the AIU said she had tested positive for a human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test on 19 July.
In October, Okagbare was charged with three anti-doping offences, which she denied.
Okagbare has 30 days to appeal against the AIU’s disciplinary tribunal’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). BBC News