Grace Nwokocha, Nigeria’s 2022 Common Wealth Gold Medal winner has been temporarily suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit, AIU for doping. Nwokocha’s name was included on the list of athletes placed on provisional suspension for various doping offenses.
What’s her offense?
Nwokocha who was part of the quartet that won the gold in the 4´100m relay race at the Common Wealth games earlier in August was suspended for the use of banned substances: Ostarine and Ligandrol, two anabolic agents prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after the substances were found in her blood sample.
“The AIU has provisionally suspended Nigeria runner, Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha, for the presence/use of prohibited substances (Ostarine & Ligandrol) (Article 2.1 and Article2.2),” WADA said in a statement on its Twitter page.
What does this mean?
Provisional suspension means an athlete is temporarily banned from competition before a final decision is taken at a hearing conducted under WADA rules. This development could mean that the gold medal and African record may be at risk of being expunged.
The doping rule nullifies any performance in its entirety, even if just a member of the team is guilty of the doping infraction.
What’s the reaction of the Nigerian authorities?
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has said it would investigate the doping case against Nwokocha. Head coach of AFN, Seigha Porbeni while describing the matter as worrisome said it is too early to jump to a conclusion.
“I am not supposed to comment on this, because it is strictly under the chairman and members of the Anti-Doping Committee of the AFN. However, the matter is still being investigated. As soon as this issue is clarified, the AFN will make a public statement through the president of the federation. Let us be patient. The federation is equally as disturbed about this unpleasant development.” He said.