Olympic Silver Medalist Suspended After Failed Drug Test at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/31/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 100m – Round 1 – OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria reacts after competing in Heat 6 REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel


The athletics events at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 kick-started on Friday. There have been many twists and turns this year because of the doping tests. Athletics Integrity Unit is the governing body for athletics at the mega-quadrennial games.

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2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalist Blessing Okagbare’s suspension was a major setback on Saturday morning. The Nigerian sprinter was one of the favorites to clinch a medal in the 100m women’s race at Tokyo. However, she is now out of contention.

Blessing Okagbare fails drug test

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Okagbare is the first to get provisionally suspended for doping in track and field at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. She tested positive in an out-of-the-competition test taken on 19th July and the results came in earlier today.

She tested positive for human growth hormone which can increase aerobic power or muscle mass. Blessing was going to compete in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m race later today. Notably, she had won the heat event earlier with a time of 11.05sec.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 100m – Round 1 – OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria reacts after winning Heat 6 REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Blessing, who had won the Olympic silver medal in Beijing (2008), is also a Commonwealth Games gold medalist. Apart from the 100 m event, she was also going to represent Nigeria in the 4X100m relay and the 200m race in Japan. Following the positive test, Blessing can ask for her backup sample test. However, it is not known if she has done so.

10 Nigerian athletes barred earlier at Tokyo Olympics 2020

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Blessing’s suspension came after AIU had declared 10 Nigerian athletes ineligible for the mega-event. According to AIU, athletes have to go through rigorous drug testing during the build of games. However, as the Nigerian athletes did not take enough drug tests, they won’t be able to compete.

Nigeria is already under the ‘high risk’ category as per the World Anti-doping Agency. Hence, they have to undergo tests whilst out of competition.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Men’s 100m – Preliminary Round – OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – July 31, 2021. Ildar Akhmadiev of Tajikistan and Olivier Mwimba of the Democratic Republic of Congo in action during Heat 3 REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

In total, 20 athletes from seven nations have had bans imposed on them because of the lack of drug tests taken. Other athletes declared ineligible were from Ukraine, Moroccan, Ethiopia, and Belarus.

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Shreya Verma

212 articles

Shreya Verma is an NBA and Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. A graduate of Political Science, Shreya comes from a strong sports background. A professional 10m air pistol shooter, Shreya is also a tennis enthusiast.

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