A six-year prohibition has been issued to Nigerian sprinter Divine Oduduru for violating doping regulations and using drugs on two occasions.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced the ban on Thursday, citing ‘overwhelming evidence’ against the ex-junior silver medalist.
The infractions encompassed the employment of prohibited tactics and substances, and possession of banned materials.
His fellow athlete, Blessing Okagbare, who faced an 11-year ban in 2022 for doping, shared a similar circumstance with Oduduru.
The head of the AIU, Brett Clothier, expressed his contentment with the case’s resolution, particularly due to its grave significance in shedding light on the covert collusion between athletes and other involved parties in deliberate plans to taint high-level athletics.
Oduduru was put on temporary suspension on February 9, 2023.
The revelations concerning Okagbare unfolded when US prosecutors charged therapist Eric Lira with delivering performance-enhancing drugs to Olympic competitors in Tokyo.
Formidable evidence against Oduduru was submitted, including screenshots of WhatsApp dialogues between Okagbare and Lira, where Okagbare was seen soliciting illegal substances for Oduduru.
Throughout the investigative procedure, Oduduru who is 27, continues to claim he is not guilty.
Oduduru, who boasts a personal record of 9.86 seconds in the 100 metres, was expelled from the 100 meter heats in Tokyo, but made it to the 200 meter semi-finals. He acquired a silver in the 200-meter category at the 2014 World Junior Athletics Championships.
Clothier added, “The AIU is actively devoted to locating and revealing cheaters and their expansive networks. We frequently collaborate with other investigating bodies to safeguard the ethics of athletics.”
“The legal help and support of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) were invaluable in generating significant evidence in this case, as it was in our prior case concerning Blessing Okagbare,” Clothier said.
“Images of the various unlawful substances discovered in Oduduru’s Florida residence were also part of the evidence considered,” the AIU added.
Two packages of human growth hormone, labelled as Somatropin, were found.