Blessing Okagbare, a Nigerian athlete, has reportedly been banned for a total of ten years for violating anti-doping laws.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Friday that the sole arbitrator adjudicating the case concluded that Okagbare’s “use of multiple prohibited substances” was “part of an organized doping regimen in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games,” according to Instablog9ja.com. The standard four-year sentence was increased due to this “egregious behaviour.”
The 33-year-old was given a five-year suspension after submitting doping tests that were positive for EPO and Human Growth Hormone. After refusing to comply with an AIU inquiry, Blessing was given a five-year suspension.
“We applaud the Disciplinary Tribunal’s judgment. A ten-year ban sends a powerful message to those who try to cheat at the top level of our sport on purpose and in concert. “Our intelligence-led target testing, as well as our dedication to analyze the circumstances surrounding a positive test, contributed to this result,” stated AIU chief Brett Clothier. Okagbare was barred from competing in the Tokyo Olympics after failing a drug test.