Blessing Okagbare Faces Fresh Doping Charges


Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare is facing three charges after testing positive for human growth hormone and EPO, offences that forced her to pull out of the Tokyo Olympics, the Athletics Integrity Unit said Thursday.

The AIU revealed on Thursday that Okagbare tested positive for blood booster EPO in Nigeria in June, in addition to another failed test for human growth hormone in Slovakia in July, which was announced during the Olympics.

Okagbare was also charged with failing to cooperate with the investigation after she disobeyed an order to produce “documents, records and electronic storage devices” in relation to the other charges.

Okagbare, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, won her first-round heat of the women’s 100 metres in Tokyo before being forced to withdraw when her test results were announced.

“The athlete has been charged with the presence and use of a prohibited substance following of Human Growth Hormone in a sample collected out-of-competition on 19th July in Slovakia and reported to the AIU on 30th July,” the AIU said in a statement.

It said Okagbare had also tested positive for the endurance-boosting drug EPO in a test in Nigeria on June 20.

Okagbare has denied all the charges and has requested that each of them be submitted to a disciplinary hearing, the AIU said.

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