Blessing Okagbare Banned From Tokyo Olympics

Nigerian sprinter and the 2008 Olympics long jump silver medalist, Blessing Okagbare was suspended following a positive test for human growth hormone.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the independent body created by the World Athletics that manages all integrity issues for the sport, announced her suspension on Friday.

The 32-year-old, who has also won world championship medals in the 200m and the long jump and is competing in her fourth Olympics, had comfortably won her 100m heat in Tokyo on Friday with a time of 11.05 seconds, qualifying for Saturday’s semi-final.

The AIU had collected the sample from Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July and She was also due to compete in the 200m as well as the 4X100m relay.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo,” the AIU stated.

Okagbare and another Nigerian sprinter, Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha, had earlier qualified from their respective heats for the semi-finals.

Sports fans have described her suspension as a big blow for Team Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics.

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