Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare's Doping Ban Extended To 11 Years

Blessing Okagbare, a Nigerian sprinter, has been given an additional one-year ban for additional doping violations, on top of her existing 10-year suspension.

She was charged by the Athletics Integrity Unit with "evading sample collection and tampering or attempting to tamper with the doping control process."

The 33-year-old received her initial ban in February for "multiple violations of anti-doping rules."

She was suspended from the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 after failing a drug test.

Nigeria has lost its potential qualification spot in the women's 4x100m relay at the World Championships in Oregon due to Okagbare's additional ban.

Six days after she evaded sample collection - on 13 June 2021 - she competed in the relay event at Nigeria's Olympic trials, helping her team to qualify for the World Championships. However, all results involving Okagbare have now been disqualified.

Okagbare's doping ban extended to 11 years – The Sun Nigeria

"Over the years, we have repeatedly seen how one person's actions adversely affect team-mates who have trained hard and worked honestly for their results," AIU head Brett Clothier said in a statement.

"In this instance, Nigeria has lost an important qualification spot. Those are the rules and we will not compromise on integrity."

Okagbare, the 2008 Olympic long jump silver medallist, 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.

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