The chances of Nigeria winning any medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics dimed further on Friday with Blessing Okagbare failing drug test.
Okagbare, who is one of Nigeria’s brightest chances of a medal at the event in Tokyo was provisionally suspended from the competition by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the independent body created by the World Athletics, that manages all integrity issues for the sport.
Announcing this on Friday, AIU explained that the Nigerian sprinter tested positive for Human Growth Hormone.
The body explained, “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 said in its statement.
“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 (Friday) evening.
“The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”
Two Nigerian sprinters, Okagbare and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha had earlier qualified from their respective heats for the semi-finals.
With the ban, Okagbare participation in the sports events, which is her third Olympics, has come to an abrupt end.
With development, 11 Nigerians have now been disqualified from the Tokyo games as AIU had earlier on Thursday disqualified 10 Nigerian athletes for not complying with out-of-competition drug testing requirements.