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Nigerian sprinter Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha was handed a three-year ban for doping at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
She tested positive for two substances, ostarine and ligandrol.
Nwokocha ran the anchor leg during the women’s 4 x 100 metre relay.
The AIU has banned Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha (Nigeria) for 3 years, from 3 August 2022, for the Presence/Use of Prohibited Substances (Ostarine & Ligandrol). DQ results since 3 August 2022.— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) October 27, 2023
Details here: https://t.co/ujl482eSoU pic.twitter.com/kDUtgRkitg
She crossed the line first. Afterward Nwokocha’s positive drug test, the team was stripped of gold, with hosts England moved up to first.
During her hearing with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Court in May, Nwokocha claimed the positive test was caused by cross-contamination. She also claimed that an unnamed team-mate had drunk from her bottle of Lucozade during training at the Athletes Village.
This defence was rejected with the court finding her guilty of doping. The team has now been disqualified from the results at Birmingham 2022.
The start of her ban has been backdated to August 3, 2022, the date the positive sample was collected, and will run through to August 2, 2025.
Also in 2022, the team finished fourth at the Eugene World Athletics Championships.
All of her personal bests happened in 2022. Her 100 metre best is 10.57, while her 200m record is 22.44, 400m 53.22. In 2022, she ran indoor bests of 7.36 for 60m and 23.72 for 200m.
Ostarine was created by the pharmaceutical company Merck. The drug aims to increase muscle mass and bone density in the elderly or in patients who suffer from muscle wasting. It is considered a slightly less evil drug class from anabolic steroids. Its usage grew in the late 2010s and is now more commonplace as a cheat of choice. Ostarine is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Ligandrol is a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM). It mimics the activity of testosterone in the body.
Ligandrol is also banned by the WADA.
Ligandrol is used to increase energy, improve athletic performance, increase muscle growth, and for other uses, however, there is little scientific evidence to support its use. All performance-enhancing drugs usage carries health risks.
*Cover image by ©Getty Images