Blessing Okagbare reacts to 10-year ban for doping

Blessing Okagbare banned

Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has reacted to the 10-year ban handed to her by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for “multiple breaches of anti-doping rules”.

The AIU had said on Friday that the 33-year-old was banned for five years for the use of multiple prohibited substances and five for not cooperating with the investigation.

However, Okagbare said in an Instagram post early Saturday that her lawyers were studying the AIU’s decision for the next line of action.

“My attention has been drawn to the statement issued by the AIU regarding its disciplinary panel decision,” she said.

“My lawyers are currently studying it for our next line of action which we will inform you soon.”

Okagbare won a silver medal in the long jump at the 2008 Olympics and has also won World Championship medals in the 200m and long jump.

She was a medal contender for the women’s 100m in Tokyo last year and won her heat in 11.05 seconds.

But she was ruled out of the semi-finals after the AIU said she had tested positive for a human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test on 19 July.

In October, Okagbare was charged with three anti-doping offences, which she denied.

The Nigerian has 30 days to appeal against the AIU’s disciplinary tribunal’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.