Nigerian athlete Blessing Okagbare who failed an out-of-competition-test has lost her battle to upturn her suspension by the World Athletics after she lost her appeal of the judgement.
The U.S.-based sprinter was thrown out of the Tokyo Olympics Games on the eve of the semifinals of the women’s 100m after testing positive for human growth hormone. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) revealed then that Okagbare failed an out-of-competition test taken on July 19 which was four days to the tournament.
She however appealed against the suspension immediately, insisting on seeing the result of her B Sample.
During the appeal, she was allegedly handed four-year ban after the result of her B Sample came out with the same result.
A source from the World Athletics who commented on the development while speaking to journalists says
“It is just unfortunate Blessing Okagbare found herself in this mess. When the result of her A Sample came out, Okagbare had the option of accepting it, which could have seen her ban reduced to two or three years, but she insisted on her B Sample. I pity her though, but WA wants all athletes to compete and win clean. Okagbare’s ban may elapse before the Paris 2024 Olympics.”
Okagbare had won her heat on Friday (July 30), and was meant to compete in the women’s 100 metres semifinals the next day, when the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) officially announced her suspension in the morning.
The AIU explained then that the Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list, and a provisional suspension on Okagbare was mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such substance under the World Athletics anti-doping rules.
Meanwhile, this development may spell doom for the 32 year old athlete’s career as she may not be able to participate in another tournament due to her age.