Nigerian sprint, Blessing Okagbare has been suspended from the Tokyo Olympic Games after she tested positive for a prohibited substance.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), a unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) founded to combat doping in athletics, confirmed Okagbare’s suspension in a statement on Saturday morning.
“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,” the AIU statement reads.
“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 analyzed 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.
“The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”
The 32-year-old ran 11.05 seconds to win her first-round heat in the 100m women’s race on Friday.
She was scheduled to participate on Saturday for the 100m semi-final race but will no longer compete in the Games.
On Wednesday, July 28, the AIU said 10 Nigerian athletes were among 18 competitors prevented from entering the competition in Tokyo after failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition testing.