Okagbare may appeal 10 years ban

If she loses her appeal, she won’t be eligible to participate in World Athletics recognized or sanctioned events until July 30, 2031.

Okagbare may appeal 10 years ban

Former Nigeria queen of sprints and jump who was banned for 10 years on Friday by World Athletics will soon reveal her next line of action.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of the World Athletics on Friday ban Okagbare banned for 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.

Reacting to the ban Okagbare wrote, 

“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.

At 33, Okagbare's 10-year ban amounts to an inglorious end to what hitherto has been a blistering career with several accomplishments and records to her name.

Her ordeal began at Tokyo Olympics where she was suspended after winning her heat in the women 100m.

AIU said then that she had tested positive for a human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test July 19, 2921.

Okagbare, Olympic long jump silver medallist in Beijing in 2008, had posted a time of 11.05 seconds in her 100m heat and was set to line up against Asher-Smith and Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herath in the first semi-final.

The devastating news came two days after 10 other Nigerian athletes were declared ineligible for the Games. The AIU ruled they were unable to take part because of non-compliance with out-of-competition drug testing requirements in the run-up to the Olympics.

It got messy for Okagbare when U.S. prosecutors charged Eric Lira with providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, including the star Nigerian sprinter Okagbare in January 2022.

Eric Lira, 41, of El Paso, is the first person to be charged under a new U.S. anti-doping law governing international sports competitions.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Lira distributed the drugs, including human growth hormone, “for the purpose of corrupting” the 2020 Games. Lira also is accused of conspiring to violate drug misbranding and adulteration laws

The criminal complaint did not name Okagbare but includes details suggesting she was among Lira’s clients. Authorities searched Okagbare’s cellphone as she was returning to the United States and found she had been communicating with Lira over using an encrypted app, according to the complaint. 

Okgbare has the right to appeal against the Disciplinary Tribunal’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 30-days. 

If she loses her appeal, she won’t be eligible to participate in World Athletics recognized or sanctioned events until July 30, 2031.