*AFN expresses ‘shock’
After a sample collected from the sprinter tested positive for human Growth Hormone, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AlU) has temporarily suspended Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria with immediate effect.
Growth Hormone is a non-specified drug on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List for 2021, and an adverse analytical test for such a substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules requires a provisional suspension.
“On July 19, the AlU took a sample from Ms. Okagbare during an out-of-competition test. The AIU was alerted of the negative analytical finding by the WADA-accredited laboratory that analyzed the sample at midday Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.
“This morning in Tokyo, the athlete was informed of the negative analytical finding and her provisional suspension. She was supposed to compete in the women’s 100m semi-finals this evening.
“At this point, the AlU will not make any additional comments on the subject,” the Unit said in the released statement.
However, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has expressed its ‘shock’ over the development.
In a statement, the Federation’s President, Tony Okowa said: “The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has received with great shock, the press release by the Athletics Integrity Unit, suspending Blessing Okagbare for a doping test violation.
“The Federation is in the process of obtaining the relevant details of the announcement after which a full react will be issued.”