Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Blessing Okagbare provisionally suspended for failed drugs test
Nigerian sprinter tested positive for human growth hormone in an out-of-competition test on July 19, the Athletics Integrity Unit said, prompting a mandatory provisional suspension; Kenyan Mark Otieno Odhiambo out of 100m after positive test for banned substance
Last Updated: 31/07/21 11:24am
Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare has been provisionally suspended just hours before she was due to run in the semi-finals of the women's 100m at the Olympics on Saturday.
The Athletics Integrity Unit announced that Okagbare had "tested positive for human growth hormone" in an out-of-competition test on July 19.
That resulted in a mandatory suspension, coming on the day that Okagbare was due to race against Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith in their 100m semi-final in Tokyo.
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Okagbare finished first in her heat for the women's sprint event on Friday, recording a time of 11.05 seconds to beat Britain's Asha Philip and Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas. That put the 32-year-old into a third consecutive Olympic semi-final.
Okagbare, who won Olympic silver in the long jump in Beijing 13 years ago, holds the Commonwealth Games record in the women's 100m, set in Glasgow in 2014.
The women's 100m final is the last event on the Olympic track schedule on Saturday at 9.50pm local time (1.50pm BST), with the semi-finals taking place from 7.15pm local time (11.15am BST).
Kenyan sprinter out of 100m after positive test
Kenya's Mark Otieno Odhiambo, a 100m sprinter, has tested positive for a banned substance, Team Kenya said in a statement, and will not take part in the Olympic qualifying heats on Saturday.
"We have received communication this afternoon from International Testing Agency (ITA) regarding one of our sprinters who has had an adverse analytical finding on a urine sample he provided on 28 July 2021," said Waithaka Kioni, Team Kenya's head of delegation.
"He remains provisionally suspended from participating in his event today. The sprinter is fully aware of this communication and is in receipt of the letter from ITA."
Asked if he could confirm that the sprinter in question was Otieno Odhiambo, a Team Kenya spokesperson replied: "Yes".
"He has, however, denied any knowledge of the violation and has subsequently requested a re-analysis of his B urine sample," Kioni said.
Otieno Odhiambo, who has a personal best of 10.05 seconds, finished second at the national trials last month.
He told Reuters this month that he was looking forward to changing perceptions of Kenya in the 100m, a distance in which the east African nation, one of the most world's successful countries in long-distance running events, has not enjoyed much success.
Otieno Odhiambo's withdrawal left Ferdinand Omanyala as Kenya's only entrant in the men's 100m at the Games.
He served a 14-month doping ban imposed by the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya in 2017.