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Lawyer: Okagbare to Appeal 10-year Doping Ban at CAS

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 30, 2021 Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare reacts after winning her race in the women's 100m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. - A Texas therapist who supplied performance-enhancing drugs to Olympic athletes, including suspended Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare, has become the first person charged under a new US anti-doping law. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Blessing Okagbare is heading to the Court of Arbitration for Sports to challenge her 10-year ban Friday by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for multiple breaches of the anti-doping rules.

This much was disclosed by her counsel, Chinedu Udora on ThisDayLive on Arise TV and reported by ThisDay newspaper.

According to the newspaper, Okagbare’s legal team headed by Udora will appeal the decision of the tribunal.

Udora said in the interview some of the evidence used by AIU in slamming a ban on 33- year- old Okagbare for use of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) were not right.

“There are evidences that even though went against us but that we feel that they were not properly evaluated. For instance, while we were in it, we had opportunity to call for, as you know, the deadline of all these charges went on scientific interpretation and evaluation.

”So at the onset, we set out to get a scientist to look at the charges to look at the test result because our client- Blessing Okagbare- maintained her innocence. So we had to look at it to see what is in the result.

”We reached out to several WADA Accredited labs to see if any assistance could come so that the result could be properly evaluated and interpreted,” Udora was quoted as saying in the interview.

He faulted the AIU for not looking at the result of other laboratories that were not from World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratories.

He also accused the panel that looked at the expert evidence presented by Okagbare during the trial of not having the requisite expertise in that field and taking the evidence from only the WADA accredited lab.

“What I want to note here is that WADA accredited lab failing to assist an athlete that has been charged for anti-doping offence, for me, I think it is an implied denial of fair hearing,” Udora reportedly said.

 

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