Nigerian Sprinter Okagbare Fails Drug Test Disqualified from Olympics
BLESSING OKABARE – The Nigerian sprinter has been barred from playing in the Tokyo Summer Olympics after failing a drug test.
Officials announced Saturday that this is the first doping case in the Tokyo games track and field competition. Okagbare, who won her first heat in the women’s 100m on Friday, tested positive for human growth hormone, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit.
On July 19, an out-of-competition test was conducted. Okagbare was notified of her provisional suspension on Saturday, according to the AIU. The announcement comes just two days after ten more Nigerian competitors were ruled ineligible for the Games.
Okagbare, the 2008 Olympic long jump silver medalist, ran 11.05 seconds in her 100m heat and was set to compete in the first semi-final against Asher-Smith and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herath. They were found ineligible to compete due to non-compliance with out-of-competition drug testing standards in the lead-up to the Olympics by the AIU.
The AIU reported that a total of 20 competitors from seven nations, including Morocco, Kenya, and Ethiopia, had been thrown out due to anti-doping offenses on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) category A watch list.
“Nigeria is the most affected country, not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 for 10 athletes. Nigeria was included in Category A at the start of 2020 following a continued period of weak domestic testing levels,” the AIU said.
With athletics accounting for 13 of Nigeria’s 25 Olympic medals, including two of the three gold medals, this new event has sparked outrage across the country. Some of the impacted athletes, local media, and disappointed fans who were looking forward to the track and field events at Tokyo 2020 have slammed AFN and sports ministry officials.
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