Oduduru divine mystery: what happened to Blessing Okagbare’s sparring partner?

In the Nigerian online newspaper The Guardian, the charges against the sprinter Okagbare Blessing (banned for 10 years for doping) could be withdrawn by the American judicial authorities in the near future: probably the adversarial castle based on the new American criminal law (the Rodchenkov Act), does not work, or it is difficult to prove it criminally.

Remember that the story of Blessing Okagbare emerged from two channels: the two positive doping tests leading to the approach of the Tokyo Olympic Games (hence the “sport” channel), and the FBI investigation in search of the doctor whom he allegedly gave him performance-enhancing drugs, and whose conversations captured on his phone from Japan, had brought to light. There, the activity of Doctor Eric Lira had been discovered.

According to the Nigerian newspaper, a source close to World Athletics suggested the charges would be dropped, although the 10-year ban for violating the anti-doping code is still in place.

Meanwhile, the newspaper notes the disappearance of the sprinter – also Nigerian – Divine Oduduru, who had done so well in the NCAA before turning “pro” and joining the Rana Raider practice squad. We remember how in 2019 it ran in 9.86 out of 100 and 19.73 out of 200. Here is what we read:

Since participating in the Tokyo Olympics, Oduduru has not been seen competing in athletics events despite being in the country. Oduduru was disqualified in Tokyo for a false start.

In reality, Oduduru was disqualified for a fake on July 31, that is, the day the Okagbare was withdrawn from the Games because in the meantime the results of its analyzes had arrived, and the IAU had decided to stop the athlete before the semi-finals of the 100. , that is to say before his presence in a final well within his reach once again compromises the event. Yet Oduduru participated in the heats and semi-finals of the 200 (20.36 and 20.16) on August 3: therefore the possible conspiracy thesis on a provoked false start does not seem to hold.

In Tokyo, they report, there was still something vague: there, Odururu, would have fallen out with one of the stars of Nigerian athletics of yesteryear, Marie Onyali, now in his capacity as Minister of Sports, at a reception at the Nigerian Embassy in Tokyo. Onyali reportedly recalled Oduduru for showing up in his own brand shirt, instead of the national team’s.

On the other hand, writes The Guardian,

Oduduru “would have given up” on his return trip to the United States [per tornare al suo base camp]from Tokyo and would travel to Nigeria after learning that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had searched Okagbare’s cell phone upon his arrival in the United States. Since then, Oduduru has never returned to his training center in the United States”.

The Guardian allegedly tried several times to contact Oduduru by telephone, but received no response.


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