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Performance-enhancing Drugs Supplier To Okagabare, Other Olympic Athletes Charged Under US Anti-doping Law

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Performance-enhancing Drugs Supplier To Okagabare, Other Olympic Athletes Charged Under US Anti-doping Law

A new United States anti-doping law has caught up with its first offender who is a Texas therapist.

The therapist has been charged with supplying performance-enhancing drugs to Olympic athletes, including suspended Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare.
US justice department officials in New York said Eric Lira, a 41-year-old “naturopathic” therapist based in El Paso, supplied drugs to two athletes for the “purpose of corrupting” the Tokyo Games.

The Nigerian top athlete Okagbare was suspended for doping on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at the Tokyo Olympics.

READ ALSO: OLYMPICS: How Fight Over Puma Contract Caused Disqualification Of 10 Nigerian Athletes – Blessing Okagbare

The Athletics Integrity Unit while announcing the suspension said the 32-year-old Nigerian athlete tested positive for a banned substance – human growth hormone.

The anti-doping body said Okagbare tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test on July 19 – four days before the Olympics opened.
The case is the first time charges have been brought under the Rodchenkov Act — a law introduced in the United States in 2020 in the wake of Russia’s state-backed doping scandal.

The law, named after Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, enables US authorities to prosecute individuals involved in international doping fraud conspiracies.

US attorney Damian Williams said the charges announced Wednesday sent “a strong message to those who would taint the (Olympic) Games and seek to profit from that corruption.”

“At a moment that the Games offered thousands of athletes validation after years of training, Eric Lira schemed to debase that moment by peddling illegal drugs,” Williams said in a statement.

An unsealed indictment said the case arose from an investigation into efforts to supply Olympic athletes with banned performance-enhancing drugs such as human growth hormone and the blood-boosting drug erythropoietin ahead of last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Investigators said Lira obtained misbranded versions of human growth hormone and EPO, along with other prescription drugs, from Central and South America, before bringing them into the United States to supply to athletes.

Although not named, details in the indictment clearly identify Florida-based Nigerian sprint star Okagbare as one of the athletes alleged to have used drugs supplied by Lira, AFP reports.

The 33-year-old was thrown out of the Olympics last year before the women’s 100m semi-finals after testing positive for human growth hormone at an out-of-competition test in Slovakia on July 19. The indictment refers to an athlete testing positive for HGH on July 19 in Slovakia before later being suspended from the women’s Olympic 100m finals.

 

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Eguavoen Reveals Why He Accepted Super Eagles’ Job

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Former Super Eagles interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen has given reasons why he accepted the offer of leading the Eagles after Gernot Rohr was relieved of his job.

Rohr guided the Eagles to the 2018 world cup in Russia and was sacked after five years in charge of the Nigeria national team, weeks before the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations kicked off in Cameroon.

Eguavoen, who many have called on to fully take on as the Super Eagles Coach after his performance at the first round of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon while speaking with BBC Sport Africa, said as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical director, he had to step in before a permanent boss is hired.

READ ALSO: AFCON 2021: Tunisia Coach Reveals How His Players Tamed Eagles

“Our former coach was relieved of his duties and it was just weeks before the Africa Cup of Nations.

“As technical director, anywhere in the world that is what is obtainable. If there is a vacancy, it is the technical director that steps in before the coach has been appointed.

“So that’s why you see me taking this role as an interim man,” he said.

The NFF announced Jose Peseiro as the next head coach of the Eagles before AFCON 2021, while Eguavoen stepped aside after they were eliminated by Tunisia on Sunday.

 

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AFCON 2021: Tunisia Coach Reveals How His Players Tamed Eagles

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Tunisia coach, Mondher Kebaier has opened up on how his boys stopped Nigeria from progressing to the quarter-finals in the ongoing 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, following their impressive performance against Super Eagles

Nigeria was tagged favourite to lift the trophy after their amazing performance in the group stage as they recorded 9 points after 3 games

Msakni netted the only goal of the game as the North Africans were a lone goal victor

During a post-match conference, the coach confirmed that they worked on the Nigeria wingers because they knew how dangerous they could be.

READ ALSO: Tunisian Coach, 12 Players To Miss Clash With Super Eagles

“Today we came up with tactics to put pressure on the Nigerian wingers because they are very dangerous. And we also know they have difficulties when they lose the ball,” he said.

Tunisia will now play against Burkina Faso in the quarter-final as Super Eagles return home.

 

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AFCON 2021: COVID-19-ravaged Tunisian Team Sends Super Eagles Home

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AFCON 2021: COVID-19 Ravaged Tunisian Team Sends Super Eagles Home

Nigerian Super Eagles are  out of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after suffering a shocking 1-0 defeat to COVID-19-ravaged Tunisian team on Sunday.

The Super Eagles had qualified as the only team with a maximum of nine points from the group stage, beating all teams in Group D. However, the Eagles couldn’t make it beyond the round of 16.

Both teams went into the first-half break without goals. Until Youssef Msakni delivers the single killer goal that sent the Super Eagles out of the competition few minutes into the second half.

READ ALSO: Charges Super Eagles To Win AFCON Title

Alex Iwobi was shown the red card at the 66th minute, depleting the Eagles as Tunisia cruised into the quarter-final of the tournament

This comes a few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari called the Super Eagles, charging them to defeat their opponent.

 

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