Nigerian athlete, Blessing Okagbare has been suspended from the 2020 Olympics (Tokyo 2020) after she failed drugs test, on Saturday.
Her suspension was contained in a press statement by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) which said the 32-year-old tested positive for a banned substance – human growth hormone.
According to the anti-doping body, 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 were only received by track and field’s anti-doping body late Friday after Blessing Okagbare, who won her heat in 11.05seconds, qualified for the semifinals of women’s 100m race at the Olympics.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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,” the statement on Blessing Okagbare added.
The suspension means the end of the road for Blessing Okagbare, as she will no longer compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, this is another another loss for Team Nigeria’s medal hopes, as Okagbare was one of the country’s best chances at a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, with the nation still without a medal eight days after the competition began.