By Victor Kanayo
After 11 years ban imposed on Blessing Okagbare, another top Nigerian athlete, Divine Odudiru, has been slammed with suspension.
According to the ruling by World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal put in place to investigate allegations of two potential Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), Oduduru was found guilty.
As reported by Bold Sports, the Nigerian has now been placed on a six-year ban.
The Purported Offence
The judgement said Oduduru was found guilty of violating Rule 2.6 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules; ADR and/or use or attempted use of multiple Prohibited Substances (Rule 2.2 ADR).
Ofcourse, the judgement was linked to Okagbare.
While Oduduru didn’t test positive for any banned substance, he was alleged to have been implicated in a WhatsApp message between Okagbare and her supplier, Eric Lira, where Okagbare mentioned “Divine” and “we” while discussing
Represented by his lawyer during hearings, Oduduru however denied having knowledge of the prohibited substances reportedly found in his house.
According to him, he had no possession of any of such in his appartement when he left for Europe to prepare for the Olympics on July 3, 2021.
He also denied being the one mentioned in the WhatsApp chats between Okagbare and Lira, saying he was unaware of that any conversation of such took place.
While alleging gang-up against him, Oduduru explained that through the period the conversation between Okagbare and Lira held in 2019 to 2021 when the substances were reportedly found in his apartment to February 2023 when he was provisionally suspended, he was tested numerous times and returned negative.
Despite his denials, the tribunal went ahead and pronounced him guilty.
His ban had started counting from February 2023.