Athletics body suspends Nigerian Commonwealth champion after failing drug test

By Victor Kanayo

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Nigerian athlete Grace Nwokocha for using a banned substance.

Heritage time HT had reported that the Nigerian women’s 4x100m gold medal won at the 2022 Commonwealth Games could be lost after one of them tested positive for a banned substance.

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) had remained silent on the name, awaiting an official communication.

However, AIU has now released Nwokocha’s name on the list of suspended athletes.

According to information on the IAU website, “The IAU has provisionally suspended Nigerian Runner, Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha, for Presence/Use of Prohibited Substances (Ostarine & Ligandrol) (Article 2.1 & Article 2.2).”

The IAU rule states that any athlete suspected of using a banned substance will be provisionally suspended pending the conclusion of investigations.

The IAU rules state that “In doping cases, Provisional Suspension is mandatory under World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules following an Adverse Analytical Finding for any substance not specified on the Prohibited List.

“A Provisional Suspension may be imposed in other doping cases depending on the nature and circumstances of the case in question.

“A Provisional Suspension imposed in a non-doping case does not in any way abrogate the presumption of innocence and it is not an early determination of guilt. Rather, it is an order made as a precaution to safeguard the sports interests.

The IAU said the Nigerian athlete had already been notified of her provisional suspension.

Nwokocha ran the anchor leg as Nigeria won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, breaking the African record with a time of 42.10 seconds.

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