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Blessing Okagbare receives 10-year doping ban

The Nigerian sprinter tested positive for multiple banned substances and refused to submit documentation requested by investigators

The Athletics Integrity Unit has handed Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare a 10-year ban for doping violations, which will effectively end her career. The 33-year-old was sent home from the Tokyo Games before the semi-final of the women’s 100m, for which she had qualified automatically before a previous positive test for human growth hormone came to light.

On July 30, Okagbare won her 100m heat in Tokyo, despite having tested positive out-of-competition on July 19. In October, according to a Reuters report, she was charged with three doping violations, including the use of human growth hormone, a previous positive test for EPO (from June 2021) and refusing to hand over documentation requested by investigators.

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According to a report in the Independent, the athlete received five years for using multiple banned substances and five years for refusing to co-operate with an investigation. (The standard doping ban is for four years.)

Okagbare won bronze in the 200m at the 2013 World Championships and is an Olympic and World Championship medallist in the long jump. She holds the Commonwealth Games record in the 100m at 10.85, set in Glasgow in 2014.