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Athletics - Nigeria: Divine Oduduru gets six years for doping

Divine Oduduru-dopage
Athletics - Nigeria: Divine Oduduru gets six years for doping

A multiple medallist at the All-Africa Games, African Senior Championships and World Junior Championships, Divine Oduduru won't be seeing a medal anytime soon. The Nigerian has been suspended for six years for doping.

The decision has fallen for Divine Oduduru. The Nigerian sprinter has received a 6-year suspension for doping. The Athletics Integrity Unit made the sentence official on Thursday, October 12, 2023. The body cites "overwhelming evidence".

"We are very pleased with the outcome of this case, given its particularly serious nature, revealing the sinister collusion between athletes and others in deliberate plans to corrupt athletics at the highest level," said AIU President Brett Clothier. The latter speaks of collusion insofar as Divine Oduduru was nabbed in the same case as her teammate Blessing Okagbare, who was given 11 years in 2022.

According to an investigation by US prosecutors, she had received doping products from therapist Eric Lira before going to the Tokyo Olympics. After being nabbed, she was finally excluded from the tournament just before the semi-finals of the women's 100m, as she tested positive for growth hormones. The investigation also revealed that Oduduru had ordered products in the name of Divine Oduduru. The Nigerian was finally pinned and disqualified from the 100m heats at the Tokyo Olympics. He did, however, reach the 200m final.

AIU uncompromising

In its indictment, the AIU showed clear evidence. Divine Oduduru had been in possession of numerous banned products."There was photographic evidence of several banned substances discovered in Oduduru's Florida apartment. These included two boxes of Somatropin, "Xerendip" and "Humatrope", which were identified as human growth hormone; a plastic bag labeled "IGF LR3" - short for synthetic Insulin Growth Factor - containing three vials and two boxes of erythropoietin (EPO).

At the age of 27, Divine Oduduru can probably say goodbye to athletics. Or at least, to top-level athletics...

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