Athletics-Okagbare handed additional one-year doping suspension

FILE PHOTO: 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

(Reuters) - Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been handed an extra one-year ban on top of her decade-long suspension for additional violations including evading sample collection and tampering or attempted tampering of doping control, the AIU said on Monday.

In February, Okagbare, who won silver in the long jump at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, received a 10-year ban from the Athletics Integrity Unit for doping in the lead-up to the Tokyo Games and for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

The ban effectively ended the 33-year-old's career.

The additional violations announced on Monday cost Nigeria their potential qualification place in the women's 4x100 metres relay at the world championships in July, after Okagbare was found to have evaded sample collection on June 13, 2021, six days before she competed in the event at the Olympic trials.

Okagbare did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Over the years, we have repeatedly seen how one person’s actions adversely affect team-mates who have trained hard and worked honestly for their results," AIU head Brett Clothier said in a statement.

"In this instance, Nigeria has lost an important qualification spot. Those are the rules and we will not compromise on integrity."

She previously won silver in the long jump and bronze in the 200 metres at the 2013 world championships.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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