The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has expressed shock over the provisional suspension of Team Nigeria top athlete and medal prospect, Blessing Okagbare, for a doping rule violation.
Okagbare who won her 100m heat with 11.05 seconds to reach the semifinal on Friday and was drawn in the first semifinal heat alongside two heavyweights of the event, Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith for today heat, was suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after a sample collected from the sprinter tested positive for human ‘Growth Hormone’.
The AFN in statement says it is in the process of obtaining the relevant details of the announcement after which a full reaction will be issued.
The AIU in the press release says the Nigerian 100/200m record holder has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect after a sample collected from the 32-year-old tested positive for human Growth Hormone.
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 says it collected the sample from Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July and revealed the WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at midday Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.
The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension Saturday morning in Tokyo. She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m Saturday evening in Tokyo.