- Blessing Okagbare will have not part to play at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after failing a pre-tournament drug test
- The 32-year-old who finished the fastest time in her heat has been disqualified from competing in the rest of the Games
- Okagbare's samples had been taken four days before the kick-off of the tournament and the results came in after qualifying into the 100m semis
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The AIU said the 32-year-old tested positive for human growth hormone after her samples were taken on July 19, which was four days before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics started.
The results which turned out positive came out on 30 July, 2021, after Okagbare had won her heat and qualified into the 100meters semi-final.
A statement from the AIU read:
“The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria today with immediate effect after a sample collected from the sprinter 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 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.
“The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”
Okagbare is one of Nigeria's brightest medal prospects at the Games on the 100m, 200m, the relay and the long jump.
Her disqualification will come as a huge blow to the team as Nigeria will only depend on Grace Nkwocha after returning a time of 11:00sec in the 100m.
Meanwhile, earlier reports claim that Nadia Eke is a Ghanaian triple jumper who will be competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and one would wonder why she did not choose the green and white flag of Nigeria.
The 28-year-old was born to a Nigerian father and a Ghanaian mother but claims she chose the latter from the former because of originality.
The Columbia University graduate told BBC:
"I chose to compete for Ghana in 2014 because being Ghanaian is my blood."
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