Banned Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare has reacted to the career-ending 10 year ban slammed on her.
Reacting on Saturday, the day after her ban, she stated on her facebook page that she was studying the ban and her lawyers will react accordingly.
An appeal looks most likely. She wrote, “My attention has been drawn to the statement issued by the AIU regarding its disciplinary panel decision. My lawyers are currently studying it for our next line of action which we will inform you soon.”
Her trouble started at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics which held last year. Okagbare was expelled at the games having reached the semi-finals of the women’s 100m.
The suspension from the games was hinged on testing positive for human growth hormone at an out-of-competition test in Slovakia on July 19.
“The Disciplinary Tribunal has banned Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare for a total of 10 years,” read an AIU statement.
A copy of the judgement read in part, “For the reasons set out, The Tribunal:
“Finds the ADRVs contrary to Rules 2.1 and 2.2 ADR proved;
“Imposes a period of Ineligibility of five years concurrently on each of the Rule 2.1 and Rule 2.2 ADRVs;
“Finds that the Athlete failed to comply with the Demand and cooperate with the AIU investigation in breach of Rules 5.7.3 and 5.7.7 ADRV and imposes a consecutive period of Ineligibility of five years; and
“Therefore, imposes a total period of Ineligibility of ten years which commences on 31 July 2021.
“The Tribunal also orders that the Athlete’s results from and including 20 June 2021 are disqualified with all resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points, and prize and appearance money.
“There is no order for costs.”
It was also claimed that the Nigerian athlete was also charged with failing to cooperate with the investigation after she disobeyed an order to produce “documents, records and electronic storage devices” in relation to the other charges.