Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare has broken her silence on the 10-year doping ban issued to her by the Athletic Integrity Unit (AIU).
Naija News had on Friday reported that the disciplinary tribunal of the AIU banned the 33-year-old from participating in World Athletics-sanctioned track and field event for breaching multiple anti-doping rules.
The sprinter got a five-year ban for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and another half-a-decade for her refusal to cooperate with the AIU’s investigation of her case.
The statement released by AIU reads, “The Disciplinary Tribunal has banned Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare for a total of 10 years.
“We welcome the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal. A 10-year ban is a strong message against intentional and coordinated attempts to cheat at the highest level of our sport. It’s a result that was driven by our targeted intelligence-based testing as well as our commitment to investigating the circumstances of a positive test.”
Reacting in a tweet via her Twitter handle on Saturday, Okagbare said she received news of her ban, adding that her lawyers are studying the decision to determine the next line of action.
She, therefore, promised to inform the public if she will be appealing the ban or not.
“My attention has been drawn to the statement issued by the AIU regarding its disciplinary panel decision. My lawyers are currently studying it for our next line of action, which we will inform you soon,” She wrote.
Recall that Okagbare was expelled from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before the women’s 100m semi-finals after testing positive for human growth hormone at an out-of-competition test in Slovakia on July 19.
The Nigerian athlete was a medal contender for the women’s 100m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after an impressive run of form. She ran a wind-assisted 10.63 seconds at the Nigerian trials in June, before winning her heat in Tokyo in 11.05.
Okagbare was handed ‘five years for the presence and use of multiple prohibited substances and five years for her refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.’
This article was originally published on Nigeria News