AIU suspends Nwokocha for three years for doping

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The Athletics Integrity Unit declared on Friday that Nigerian sprinter Grace Nwokocha has been suspended for three years for doping.

In a sample taken on August 3, 2022, Nwokocha, the gold medallist in the 4x100m relay at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, tested positive for the anabolic steroids ostarine and ligandrol.

According to the AIU, Nwokocha has acknowledged the doping infraction and accepted the three-year ban. Her performance from August 3, 2022 to September 2, 2022 has been ruled invalid, along with her Commonwealth Games gold medal.

AIU released a statement on Friday that said, among other things, “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 doping controversy involving Nigerian athletes is the most recent in a string of them. Following many positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs in 2021, Blessing Okagbare—who placed first in the 100 and 200 metres at the Commonwealth Games—was suspended for ten years.

A six-year ban for doping offences was recently imposed on Divine Oduduru as well.

Nigerian athletics has suffered a great deal as a result of Nwokocha’s suspension because she is regarded as one of the nation’s most talented athletes and is predicted to unseat the established players.

Nwokocha was anticipated to go better in Paris in 2024 after making it to the semi-finals in her thrilling debut at the Tokyo Olympics.

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