Blessing Okagbare handed four-year ban over banned drugs

(Photo: France 24)

US-based Nigerian athlete Blessing Okagbare has lost her appeal to overturn her suspension by World Athletics (WA) after failing an out-of-competition-test.

According to The Guardian, the 32-year-old athlete was handed a four-year ban after the result of her B Sample came out with the same result.

Okagbare was taken out of the Tokyo Olympics Games on the eve of the semifinals of the women’s 100m after testing positive for human growth hormone. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) revealed then that Okagbare failed an out-of-competition taken on July 19. She appealed against the suspension immediately, insisting on seeing the result of her B Sample.

The AIU explained at the time that the Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list. As such, the provisional suspension on Okagbare was mandatory.

“Okagbare started her four-year ban long ago,” a World Athletics (WA) source told the outlet. “It is just unfortunate Blessing Okagbare found herself in this mess. When the result of her A Sample came out, Okagbare had the option of accepting it, which could have seen her ban reduced to two or three years, but she insisted on her B Sample. I pity her though, but WA wants all athletes to compete and win clean. Okagbare’s ban may elapse before the Paris 2024 Olympics,” the official stated.