Grace Nwokocha, first from right.
Nigerian sprinter Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha who won gold in the 4×100 metres relay at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, has been provisionally suspended for the use of banned substances, by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Nwokocha, 21, ran the anchor leg in Birmingham last month as Nigeria beat England and Jamaica to take gold, in a new African record time.
“The AIU has provisionally suspended Nigerian runner, Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha, for the Presence/Use of Prohibited Substances (Ostarine & Ligandrol) (Article 2.1 and Article 2.2),” the body said in a statement on Twitter, on Saturday.
Ostarine and Ligandrol are both anabolic agents prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
A provisional suspension means an athlete is temporarily banned from competition before a final decision is taken at a hearing conducted under WADA rules.
Nwokocha qualified for last year’s Tokyo Olympics and also entered the 100m and 200m at the world championships in Eugene this year, reaching the semi-finals in both events.
Should her B sample also turn out positive, and the athlete eventually found guilty, it will further smear Nigeria’s image, as a country ranked in category A on the list of doping infractions.
Her indiscretions, should also warrant the quartet and Nigeria being stripped of the Gold medal, that endured that Nigeria finished the Games with a record 12 Gold medals.
Writing by Chinedum Ohanusi; Editing by Muzha Kucha