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Okagbare announced as ‘accomplice’ in US first-ever Olympic anti-doping trial

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US prosecutors have charged a self-acclaimed kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor with supplying performance-enhancing drugs to athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

It is US first prosecution under a federal law allowing criminal charges against doping conspirators at events involving US athletes, broadcasters and sponsors.

The US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Eric Lira, 41, distributed drugs, including human growth hormone, “for the purpose of corrupting” the Tokyo games. Mr Lira obtained misbranded versions of prescription drugs used to boost production of red blood cells from Central and South America and distributed them to two athletes, prosecutors said.

One of the athletes believed to be discussed in the criminal complaint but not identified there by name is Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare.

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AP reported that “the criminal complaint does not name Okagbare but includes details suggesting she was among Lira’s clients.” Details included a series of texts between Okagbare and Lira dated June 22, 2021. The Nigerian was said to have given the kinesiologist “great” feedback on a product after running a then world-record and wind-assisted 10.63 (+2.7) in Lagos the week before.

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