ABUJA- Nigerian sprinter Divine Oduduru has been given a six-year ban for breaching two doping violations.
On Thursday, the Athletics Integrity Union (AIU) said the Nigerian was handed a four-year ban for possessing prohibited substances/attempted use of a prohibited substance and an additional two years for “aggravating circumstances.”
The former world junior silver medalist was also ordered to pay $ 3,000 to the World Athletics for its legal fees and other expenses regarding the case.
Oduduru’s case was linked to teammate Blessing Okagbare, who was banned for 11 years for doping in 2022.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this matter, given its particularly grievous nature, exposing the sinister collusion between athletes and other persons in deliberate plans to corrupt athletics at the highest level,” Brett Clothier, head of the AIU, said.
He was alleged to have been implicated in a WhatsApp message between Okagbare and her supplier, Eric Lira, where his compatriot mentioned “Divine” and “we” while discussing.
“The Athlete has committed ADRVs under Rules 2.6 and 2.2 ADR. The violations shall be considered together as one single first violation,” the statement said.
“A period of Ineligibility of six (6) years is imposed by the Panel upon the Athlete commencing on the date of the Decision. The period of Provisional Suspension imposed on the Athlete from 9 February 2023 until the date of the decision shall be credited against the total period of Ineligibility.
“The Athlete’s results from 12 July 2021 until the date that the Provisional Suspension was imposed, on 9 February 2023, shall be disqualified with all resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money,” it said.
The union said Oduduru maintained his innocence throughout the investigation. (NAN)