Failed drug test: Blessing Okagbare suspended from Tokyo Olympics

Pius Ayinor

 Nigeria’s star athlete Blessing Okagbare has been suspended from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after failing a dope test, World Athletics announced on Saturday in Japan. Okagabre was scheduled to run in the 100m semi-finals today. Her suspension leaves Nigeria with barely any hope for a medal in the sprints.

The press release on Okagbare made available to Extrasportsnigeria.com reads: “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.”