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Nigerian sprinter Okagbare fails drug test, out of Olympics

Blessing Okagbare tested positive for human growth hormone in an out-of-competition test conducted earlier this month.

Blessing Okagbare won her opening 100m heat on Friday (file photo).
Blessing Okagbare won her opening 100m heat on Friday (file photo).
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

NIGERIAN SPRINTER BLESSING Okagbare has been barred from the Olympics after failing a drug test, the first doping case of the Tokyo games track and field competition.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said in a statement that Okagbare, who won her opening heat of the women’s 100m on Friday, had tested positive for human growth hormone.

The out-of-competition test was conducted on 19 July, the AIU said. Okagbare was notified of the test results early on Saturday.

Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Okagbare, 32, won her heat in 11.05sec on Friday and was due to run again in Saturday’s semi-finals.

Okagbare’s suspension is the latest twist in a troubled track and field campaign at the Olympics for Nigeria.

On Thursday, the AIU said 10 Nigerian athletes were among 18 competitors prevented from entering competition in Tokyo after failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition testing.

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© – AFP, 2021

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