The Athletics Integrity Unit has announced that banned Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been found to have committed additional anti-doping rule violations – specifically evading sample collection, and tampering or attempted tampering with the doping control process.
While Okagbare has had her current 10-year ban from athletics extended by one year (now 11 years in total), another significant consequence of this decision against her is that Nigeria has lost its potential qualification place for the women’s 4x100m relay at next month’s World Athletics Championships Oregon22.
This is because six days after Okagbare evaded sample collection (13 June 2021), she competed in the 4x100m relay event at the Nigeria Olympic Trials, with her relay squad qualifying for this year’s World Championships. All individual and relay results involving Okagbare, from 13 June 2021, are now disqualified under the rules.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is the independent body created by World Athletics that manages all integrity issues – both doping and non-doping – for the sport of athletics. The remit of the AIU includes anti-doping, the pursuit of individuals engaged in age or competition results manipulation, investigating fraudulent behaviour with regards to transfers of allegiance, and detecting other misconduct including bribery and breaches of betting rules. It is the AIU’s role to drive cheats out of our sport, and to do everything within its power to support honest athletes around the world who dedicate their lives to reaching their sporting goals through dedication and hard work. – WORLD ATHLETICS