Again, Tears Everywhere As ‘Blessing Okagbare’ suspended from Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Nigerian top athlete, Blessing Okagbare, has been “provisionally” suspended from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics less than a day after she qualified for the semi finals of the 100m.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, AIU, made this known in a press statement on Saturday, saying that the 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist tested positive for a banned substance – human growth hormone.

The anti-doping body said Okagbare tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test on July 19 – four days before the Olympics opened.

The results of that test were only received by track and field’s anti-doping body late Friday after Okagbare, who won her heat in 11.05seconds, qualified for the semifinals of women’s 100m race at the Olympics.

With the suspension, the 32-year-old Nigerian athlete will no longer compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

The statement 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.”