Blessing Okagbare, Nigeria’s 2008 long jump silver medalist, has been banned for 11 years by the Athletics Integrity Unit, glamsquad reports.
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Okagbare was given a 10-year ban by the body in February 2022 after being found guilty of doping.
The AIU extended Okagbare’s ban by one year in a document released on Monday, June 27, after she allegedly failed to respond to the charges by the extended deadline of June 21, 2022.
According to the document, the 33-year-old athlete is supposed to have admitted to anti-doping rule violations (under World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules Rules 2.3 and 2.5) and accepted the consequences.
The 33-year-old sprinter was kicked out of the Tokyo Olympics before the women’s 100m semi-finals last year after testing positive for human growth hormone at an out-of-competition test in Slovakia on July 19.
Okagbare was banned for ten years by the Disciplinary Tribunal in February 2022, following five-year bans for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances, as well as her refusal to cooperate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.
Human Growth Hormone (hGH) and recombinant erythropoietin were the prohibited substances she tested positive for (EPO).
The decision was based on charges brought by the AIU against Okagbare on October 7, 2021.
The AIU charged Okagbare with Evading Sample Collection and Tampering or Attempted Tampering with the Doping Control process on June 10, 2022.
The charges related to the athlete’s whereabouts failure on June 13, 2021, and were pursued based on information in a criminal charge brought against US-based “naturopathic” therapist Eric Lira by the US Department of Justice under the Rodchenkov Act on January 12, 2022.
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Lira is accused of supplying athletes with performance-enhancing drugs prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (delayed until summer 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).
A section of the document stated
“On the basis that the Athlete is deemed to have admitted the anti-doping rule violations under Rule 2.3 ADR and Rule 2.5 ADR and accepted the consequences set out in the Second Charge, the AIU confirms by this decision the following consequences for the anti-doping rule violations: an increase of one (1) year to the period of Ineligibility of five (5) years already imposed upon the Athlete by the Tribunal in the Decision in accordance with Rule 10.4 ADR.
Disqualification of the Athlete’s results since 13 June 2021, with all resulting Consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money; and
40.3. disqualification of the results of any relay team in which the Athlete competed since 13 June 2021 in accordance with Rule 11.3.1 ADR.
This decision constitutes the final decision of the AIU pursuant to Rule 8.5.6 ADR.
Further to Rule 13.2.3 ADR, the Athlete, the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) and the Nigerian National Anti-Doping Committee have a right of appeal against this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, in accordance with the procedure set out at Rule 13.6.1 ADR.”