World Athletics: Divine Oduduru handed suspension, risks six years ban – Nigeria

Nigeria’s track and field runner, Divine Ododuru, has been provisionally suspended by World Athletics’ Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for possession/use or attempted use of a Prohibited Substance on Thursday.

In a release on its website, the AIU said it has notified the 26-year-old of ‘two potential Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) and is seeking a six-year ban against the Nigerian, after alleging that the ‘Athlete 2’, who doubled as Ododumu in the Blessing Okagbare’s doping scandal.

Oduduru has been notified of potential ADRVs for possession (Rule 2.6 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules; ADR) and/or use or attempted use of multiple Prohibited Substances (Rule 2.2 ADR).

AIU further said that: ‘these alleged violations steam from an AIU investigation based on information in a criminal charge brought against US-based ‘naturopathic’ therapist Eric Lira, on January 12, 2022, by the United States Department of Justice under the Rodchenkov Act.

With the development, Oduduru faces one charge of possession and one related to the use of undisclosed prohibited substances, according to the AIU, after being identified through text messages with Blessing Okagbare, which were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, allowed by the Rodchenkov Act.

Oduduru once held the world lead during the 2019 season when he ran a personal best of 9.86 seconds in the men’s 100 metres in Austin and broke the national record the same day in the 200m in a time of 19.73 to win both National Collegiate Athletic Association titles, as well as the 4x100m relay gold.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Oduduru was disqualified in the eats of the men’s 100m for a false start, before narrowly missing the final of the men’s 200m.

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