Blessing Okagbare gets suspension on eve of 100m Olympics semi-final

Nigerian sprinter was a medal contender at Games but will not compete in the Olympics again this weekend after positive drugs test for HGH

Blessing Okagbare, the former Commonwealth 100m and 200m champion and one of the medal contenders for the Olympic 100m title in Tokyo, has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for human growth hormone in an out-of-competition test on July 19.

The 32-year-old has run 10.89 for 100m on the eve of the Games in Hungary and a wind-assisted 10.63 to win the Nigerian 100m trials in June.

Then in the Olympic heats on Friday she clocked 11.05 to win her race. However she will now miss Saturday’s 100m semi-finals and final.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said in a statement: “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 collected the sample from Ms Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July. The WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at mid-day Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo. She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m this evening.”

Okagbare won long jump silver at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing whereas at the 2013 World Championships she took long jump silver and 200m bronze.

At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 she won the 100m and 200m. – Athletics Weekly.

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