The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has extended the ban on Nigeria’s 2008 long jump silver medalist Blessing Okagbare to 11 years for doping violations.
Nigeria women’s 4×100 relay team has also been disqualified from participating in next month’s World Athletics Championships in the United States of America over Blessing Okagbare’s ban.
Blessing was previously suspended for 10 years for doping in February 2022. However, the Athletics Integrity Unit on Monday added one additional year to Okagbare’s ban after she allegedly failed to respond to the charges by the extended deadline -June 21, 2022. With the ban, the athlete may never feature in any major tournament again until she hits her retirement age.
With this development, the Head of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), Brett Clothier, reiterated the need for athletes to always report suspected doping when they see them as it could have damning repercussions for their team-mates and country in the long run.
The sprinter who won a silver medal for Nigeria at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, was expelled from the Tokyo Olympics last year before the women’s 100m semi-finals. It was later confirmed that the Nigerian sprinter had tested positive for human growth hormone when an out-of-competition test was conducted in Slovakia on July 19, 2021.