Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, who was banned for 10 years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for alleged multiple breaches of anti-doping rules, says her lawyers would study the situation for the next line of action.
Okagbare, 2008 Beijing Silver Olympic medalist in long jump, said this via her Instagram handle @itsblessingokagbare on Saturday.
“My attention has been drawn to the statement issued by the AIU regarding its disciplinary panel’s decision. My lawyers are currently studying it for our next line of action which we will inform you soon,” she wrote.
The AIU, an independent body under the World Athletics, had issued a statement on Friday, banning the athlete for use of prohibited substances and refusal to cooperate with the Unit’s investigation.
Okagbare was provisionally suspended on July 31, 2021, on the day she had been scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 women’s 100m.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), on Oct. 7, 2021, pressed charges against Okagbare in relation to separate disciplinary matters.
First, for the presence and use of multiple (two) prohibited substances (human Growth Hormone (hGH) and recombinant erythropoietin (EPO)) for which Ms Okagbare had been provisionally suspended on 31 July 2021.
In accordance with Rule 12 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, she was charged with a refusal to co-operate with AIU’s investigation into her case.
The 34-year-old is arguably one of Nigeria’s most decorated athletes.