Status: 12.01.2022 11:55 PM
US prosecutors have indicted a Texas man for providing doping agents, including Blessing Okajbar, to participants in the Tokyo Olympics. It is the first indictment under the new US anti-doping law.
According to the Associated Press, Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okajbar is among the athletes Eric Lira is said to have supplied the steroids to. The man is the first person to be charged under the Rodchenkov Act as a punishment for doping in international sports competitions.
The law is named after Grigory Rodchenkov, who, as a whistleblower, contributed to exposing Russia’s state-regulated doping system. The former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab exposed Russia’s machinations during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to cover up the positive doping tests of local athletes after his escape. Rodchenkov has been living in the FBI’s witness protection program in the United States ever since.
Okagbare tested positive for growth hormone
The Manhattan attorney general said the defendant should have provided growth hormones, among other things. The criminal lawsuit only identifies Okagbare as “Athlete 1”, but also contains details such as her performance in certain races, making it clear that she was one of Lira’s clients.
Okagbare tested positive for human growth hormone during a training test on July 19, 2021. The result was announced during matches. Temporarily suspended – just hours before scheduled for the women’s 100m semi-final in Tokyo.
The “Rodchenkov Law” has been in effect since 2020
Photo: dpa / Vitaly Belousov
The “Rodchenkov Act” gives authorities in the USA the opportunity to classify and punish doping as a criminal offense in major sporting events. It also protects whistleblowers from retaliation and provides compensation to athletes who have been harmed by doping. Democrats and Republicans introduced the Rodchenkov Act to both houses in early 2019, then President Donald Trump signed it into law in December.
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