Days after a urine sample from Nigerian sprinter Grace Nwokocha tested positive for banned substances, former Nigerian sprinter Falilat Ogunkoya has advised the sprint star to defend herself against an impending ban. The sprinter ran the anchor leg as Team Nigeria claimed gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
With former sprint queen Blessing Okagbare having faced the ignominy of an 10-year ban for doping during the 2020 Olympics last summer, it was sensational news when the announcement was made that Nwokocha had been found provisionally guilty of doping.
Grace Nwokocha saw her A-samples test positive for the banned substances Ostarine and Lingandrol, resulting in a provisional ban for her. She and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria have requested that the B samples be assessed before a definitive conclusion is reached.
According to Ogunkoya per BSN Sports, the athlete must be the one to defend herself as she will bear the brunt of the punishment if she receives a ban.
“I am not surprised, but we have to take it, there’s nothing anybody can do about the issue,” She said.
She added. “We have to be positive ahead of the B sample, but we have to move on and see how to stop such happening in the future. “Nigeria doesn’t need to worry or clear itself; the athlete will face the doping herself, she will have to defend herself about the doping issue.”
Ogunkoya also stated that athletes ought to be very careful what they ingest in their bodies at every point in time. She said that the country had nothing to lose or gain from whatever verdict is reached and the athlete will face the consequences of her actions on her own.
As it stands, Team Nigeria will be stripped of their Commonwealth Games 4x100m women’s gold medal which Grace Nwokocha helped them to win. This will leave a small dent on an otherwise brilliant performance from the Nigerians in Birmingham.