The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has announced the provisional ban of Nigerian sprinter, Divine Oduduru for possession and or use or attempted use of multiple prohibited substances in a statement released on Thursday evening.
Divine Oduduru has been notified of this development and has until February 16th to respond as the Nigerian athlete faces a possible six-year ban.
“The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has notified Divine Oduduru of two potential Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) and is seeking a six-year ban against the Nigerian,” the statement read in part.
“The sprinter 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). He has been provisionally suspended immediately.
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“These alleged violations stem from an AIU investigation based on information in a criminal charge brought against US-based “naturopathic” therapist Eric Lira, on 12 January 2022, by the United States Department of Justice under the Rodchenkov Act.”
The AIU has provisionally suspended Divine Oduduru (Nigeria) for possession/use or attempted use of a Prohibited Substance.
Details here: https://t.co/ScnuxMNjEE pic.twitter.com/EMqiH9L3xc
— Athletics Integrity Unit (@aiu_athletics) February 9, 2023
“Lira is alleged to have supplied performance-enhancing drugs to athletes before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (delayed until summer 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic).”
“The complaint against Lira provides specific information regarding persons identified as ‘Athlete 1’ and ‘Athlete 2’. In February 2022, a sole arbitrator of the AIU Disciplinary Tribunal concluded that they were “comfortably satisfied” that ‘Athlete 1’ was Oduduru’s team-mate, Blessing Okagbare, and banned her from the sport for ten years, which was increased to an 11-year ban in June 2022 following further charges brought by the AIU.”
The AIU statement revealed that based on the information from text conversations retrieved from Blessing Okagbare’s mobile phone by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and further evidence obtained from the AIU investigation, the AIU alleges that Oduduru is ‘Athlete 2’ identified in the complaint.