Doping: Nwokocha Suspended As Nigeria Risk Losing Commonwealth Games Relay Gold


Nigerian sprinter Grace Nwokocha has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for the presence/use of prohibited substances, a situation that puts Nigeria at the risk of losing the Commonwealth Games relay gold.

The banned substances found in Nwokocha’s sample are Ostarine and Ligandrol which violates Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Code.

According to the United States anti-doping agency, Ostarine is the trademarked name for a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) that is not approved for human use or consumption in the US or in any other country.

In recent years, the World Anti-Doping Agency has reported an increasing number of positive tests involving SARMS, and athletes who use these substances most likely obtain them through black market channels.

Ostarine is prohibited at all times under the S1 anabolic agent category of the WADA prohibited list. The number of positive tests involving Ostarine has increased steadily over the past few years, with WADA reporting 28 globally in 2015.

Meanwhile, Lgd-4033 is a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM). While it is currently being investigated as a pharmaceutical treatment for muscle wasting and weakness associated with aging, Lgd-4033 has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use in humans.

Lgd-4033 is prohibited under class S1.2 other anabolic agents on the WADA prohibited list. Lgd-4033, and all SARMs, are prohibited at all times for all athletes, both in and out of competition.

Nwokocha anchored Nigeria to 4 x100 meters relay gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, running the last leg as Team Nigeria stormed to victory ahead of the host nation, England, and Jamaica in a new African record of 42.10 seconds.

The 21-year-old also featured in the individual sprints, reaching the final of the 100m where she placed fifth with a time of 11.18 seconds.

She will be banned from participating in any athletics competition until a final decision at a hearing conducted under the World Athletics Anti-Doping rules or the integrity code of conduct.

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