Monday, December 4, 2023

Nigerian Sprinter Grace Nwokocha Banned For Doping

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Grace Nwokocha, the popular Nigerian sprinter, has been banned from the sport.

She was banned for three years for doping, the Athletics Integrity Unit announced on Friday.

Nwokocha, who won gold in the 4x100m relay at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, tested positive for Ostarine and Ligandrol, two anabolic agents in a sample collected on  August 3, 2022.

The AIU said that Nwokocha has admitted to the doping violation and has accepted the sanction of a three-year ban. Her results from August 3, 2022 to September 2, 2022 have been disqualified, including her gold medal from the Commonwealth Games.

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According to a statement issued by the AIU on Friday which reads in part, “The AIU, the Athlete and the World Anti-Doping Agency (“the Parties”) subsequently entered into a Case Resolution Agreement in accordance with Rule 10.8.2 ADR pursuant to which the Athlete acknowledges that she has been found to have committed ADRVs under Rule 2.1 and Rule 2.2 of the CGF ADR (and the ADR) by virtue of the CGF Decision, which is final and binding upon her;

“The athlete agrees to be sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of three years; the Parties agree that taking into consideration the criteria in Rule 10.8.2 of the ADR, the period of Ineligibility shall commence on the date of Sample collection, i.e., August 3, 2022.

“Therefore, the period of Ineligibility shall be in effect until, and including, August 2, 2025; and in accordance with Rule 10.10 of the ADR (and to the extent that any results are not already disqualified by operation of the CGF Decision), the Athlete’s competitive results from August 3, 2022 until the date of the Provisional Suspension imposed by the AIU viz. 2 September 2022 are Disqualified with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prize money/prizes.”

This is the latest in a series of doping scandals involving Nigerian athletes. In 2021, Blessing Okagbare, who won gold in the 100m and 200m at the Commonwealth Games, was banned for 10 years after testing positive for multiple performance-enhancing drugs.

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Recently, Divine Oduduru was also slammed with a six-year ban for doping violations.

Nwokocha’s ban is a major blow to Nigerian athletics as she is touted as one of the country’s promising athletes expected to take over from the old guard.

After an impressive debut at the Tokyo Olympics where she made it to the semi-final, Nwokocha was expected to improve on her performance at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

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