Blessing Okagbare who was on Friday handed a 10 years ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit for doping violations will not go down without a fight, according to a statement by the athlete.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) pressed charges against Okagbare in relation to separate disciplinary matters in October 2021. First, for the presence and use of multiple (two) prohibited substances (human Growth Hormone (hGH) and recombinant erythropoietin (EPO)) for which she had been provisionally suspended on 31 July 2021, the day on which she had been scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 women’s 100m.
Taking to Twitter, the 2008 Beijing Olympics long jump silver medalist acknowleged that she has seen the statement by AIU and her lwayers are working on it.
“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 tweeted
Blessing Okagbare was last month identified in an indictment brought against a Texas therapist Eric Lira, her alleged supplier. The 41-year-old “naturopathic” therapist based in El Paso, was accused of supplying drugs to two athletes for the “purpose of corrupting” the Tokyo games.
She has 30 days to appeal the ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).