Okagbare’s doping ban extended to 11 years

Blessing Okagbare banned

Athlete Blessing Okagbare has been hit with an additional year of ban for doping.

Okagbare, 33, was expelled from the Tokyo Olympics last year before the women’s 100m semi-finals after testing positive for human growth hormone at an out-of-competition test in Slovakia on July 19.

She was in February suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit from competing for 10 years.

However, in a document obtained by the media on Monday, the AIU added one additional year to Okagbare’s ban after she allegedly failed to respond to the charges by the extended deadline -June 21, 2022.

According to the AIU, Okagbare is deemed to have admitted the anti-doping rule violations and to have accepted the consequences.

The AIU brought charges against the sprinter on October 7, 2021.

On June 10, 2022, it further charged Okagbare with evading sample collection, and tampering or attempted tampering with the doping control process.

The charges related to the circumstances of the athlete’s whereabouts failure on June 13, 2021, and were pursued based on information in a criminal charge, brought against US-based “naturopathic” therapist Eric Lira, on 12 January, 2022, by the United States Department of Justice under the Rodchenkov Act.

Lira was alleged to have supplied performance-enhancing drugs to athletes before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (delayed until summer 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).