Monday, 27 September, 2021
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Tokyo Olympics

Nigerian, Kenyan sprinters fail in drug test

Tokyo: The Olympics have been hit with a major doping scandal after the Nigeria sprinter Blessing Okagbare tested positive for a banned substance and was ruled out of the Games just hours before she was due to race Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith in the 100m semi-final.

Okagbare’s suspension is the first doping case of the Tokyo games track and field competition, officials said on Saturday, reports AFP.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said in a statement that Okagbare, who won her opening heat of the women's 100m on Friday, had tested positive for human growth hormone. The out-of-competition test was conducted on July 19, the AIU said. Okagbare was notified of the test results early Saturday.

Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Okagbare, 32, won her heat in 11.05sec on Friday.

Okagbare's suspension is the latest twist in a troubled track and field campaign at the Olympics for Nigeria.

On Thursday, the AIU said 10 Nigerian athletes were among 18 competitors prevented from entering competition in Tokyo after failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition testing.

Elsewhere, Kenyan sprinter Mark Odhiambo, who was to have lined up for the heats of the men's Olympic 100 metres on Saturday, has been suspended after testing positive for steroids, officials said.

"The athlete... has been informed of the case and has been provisionally suspended until the resolution of the matter in line with World Anti-Doping Code and the IOC Anti-Doping Rules," the International Testing Agency (ITA) said in a statement.

Odhiambo, who has a best time of 10.05sec, has challenged the result and the case has been referred to the anti-doping division of the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.