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BREAKING: BLESSING OKAGBARE SUSPENDED FROM THE TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS FOR DOPING

Blessing Okagbare, Nigerian sprinter has been suspended from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for doping on Saturday.

This was made known to the public by Athletics Integrity Unit in a press release, that the 32-year-old Okagbare tested positive for a banned substance – human growth hormone.

This Okagbare’s suspension is coming about 48 hours after the disqualification of 10 Nigerian athletes in the same Tokyo Olympics for not meeting the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15 governing the National Anti-Doping Federation.

The anti-doping body said Okagbare tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test on July 19, four days before the Olympics opened.

The results of that test were only received by track and field’s anti-doping body late Friday after Okagbare has qualified for the semi-final after winning the heat in 11.05 seconds.

This means that her journey to the Tokyo Olympics has ended.

The statement read: “The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria today with immediate effect after a sample collected from the sprinter tested positive for Human Growth Hormone.

“Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

“The AIU collected the sample from Ms. Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July. The WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at mid-day Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo. She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m this evening.

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“The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”

This is a heavy blow to the medal aspiration of the country in her quest to win its first medal at the Olympics as Okagbare is one of the brightest start of the Team Nigeria to the Tokyo Olympics.

Okagbare and Grace Nwokocha were the country’s medal hopefuls in the 100m at the games.

Nwokocha finished third with a new personal best of 11.00secs behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who is aiming to become the first woman to win three Olympic 100m gold medals.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, won the heat with an impressive 10.84secs, with Switzerland’s Ajia Del Fonte placing second with 10.91secs.

This would have been Okagbare’s third semi-final staring since she made her debut in the Olympics at the 2012 Olympics in London.

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