Wednesday, 29 June 2022 05:33

Oregon 2022: World Athletics defend Nigeria’s expulsion from relay

World Athletics yesterday threw more light  why  Nigeria’s 4x100m women relay team was disqualified  from the forthcoming World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States.

 

The body’s  Athletics Integrity Unit(AIU) said in a statement yesterday that  the decision was taken after  banned Blessing Okagbare reportedly  violated additional anti-doping rules by evading  sample collection (13 June 2021), six days  before she competed in the 4x100m relay event at the Nigeria Olympic Trials in Lagos with her relay squad qualifying for this year’s World Championships.

“Over the years, we have repeatedly seen how one person’s actions adversely affect teammates who have trained hard and worked honestly for their results,” noted the head of the AIU, Brett Clothier.

 

“In a relay team, if one member violates the anti-doping rules, everyone bears the brunt of results being expunged. They all pay the price. In this instance, Nigeria has lost an important qualification spot. Those are the rules and we will not compromise on integrity,” he added.

 
 

It would be recalled that the Disciplinary Tribunal  on February 14, 2022, banned Okagbare for 10 years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances including human growth hormone (hGH) and recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) coupled with  her refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigators.

Subsequently,  the AIU  on 10 June 2022, further charged Okagbare with evading sample collection, and tampering or attempted tampering with the doping control process .

These charges related to the circumstances of the athlete’s whereabouts failure on 13 June 2021 as well as information in a criminal charge, brought against US-based “naturopathic” therapist Eric Lira by the United States Department of Justice under the Rodchenkov Act.

 

Failure to respond to the charges by the extended deadline  of 21 June  2022,Okagbare was  deemed to have admitted the anti-doping rule violations  and punishment  based World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

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