A sad one for Blessing Okagbare as the Olympic medalist begins her journey to a four-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for breaking anti-doping rules, The Guardian reports.
Recall that AIU suspended the 32-year-old from the 2020 Olympic Games after samples taken on July 19 — four days before the quadrennial event, revealed she tested positive to a banned substance.
On July 31, 2021, the results had turned out positive and that was after Okagbare won her heat and qualified into the 100meters semi-final.
The Nigerian athlete immediately appealed the suspension and requested on seeing the result of her B Sample.
A source close to World Athletics told Guardian:
“Okagbare started her four-year ban long ago. It is just unfortunate Blessing Okagbare found herself in this mess.
“When the result of her A Sample came out, Okagbare had the option of accepting it, which could have seen her ban reduced to two or three years, but she insisted on her B Sample.
“I pity her though, but WA (World Athletics) wants all athletes to compete and win clean. Okagbare’s ban may elapse before the Paris 2024 Olympics.”
Team Nigeria had a slightly better outing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after winning two medals, compared to their participation at the 2016 edition of the games.
Ese Brume won a bronze medal for the country in the women’s long jump event, while Blessing Oborududu claimed the silver medal from the 68kg wrestling women’s freestyle.