The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has issued charges against Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare in relation to three separate disciplinary matters.
The athlete has been charged with the presence and use of a prohibited substance following the detection of Human Growth Hormone in a sample collected out-of-competition on July 19 in Slovakia.
An AIU statement said: This matter was publicly announced on 31st July when Okagbare was provisionally suspended. She had been scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the Toko 2020 women’s 100m that day.
The athlete has also been charged with the presence and use of a prohibited substance following the detection of recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) in a sample collected out-of-competition on 20th June in Nigeria.
The Athletics Integrity Unit has issued charges against 🇳🇬 sprinter Blessing Okagbare in relation to three disciplinary matters.
— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) October 7, 2021
The AIU requested EPO analysis be conducted on the sample on 29th July and the adverse analytical finding was reported to the AIU on 12th August.
Okagbare was notified of the adverse analytical finding on 20th August. Human Growth Hormone and EPO are non-specified substances on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.
A provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such a substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules and the athlete remains provisionally suspended. Finally, the AIU has issued a further charge against Okagbare in accordance with Rule 12 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules following the athlete’s refusal to co-operate with the AIU’s investigation into her case.
The athlete failed to comply with a formal requirement to produce relevant documents, records and electronic storage devices, which was issued to the athlete by the AIU on 15th September. The athlete denies all charges and has requested that each of them be submitted to a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal.