Divine Oduduru, a notable track and field runner from Nigeria, has been issued a six-year ban by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics due to a violation related to doping.
The ban was imposed after a verdict was reached by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal, which was established to investigate allegations of potential Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) by the AIU.
According to the AIU’s official website, Oduduru, who was connected to his fellow athlete Blessing Okagbare, was found guilty of possessing (under Rule 2.6 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules; ADR) and/or using or attempting to use multiple Prohibited Substances (under Rule 2.2 ADR).
It is important to note that Oduduru did not test positive for any banned substances. However, he was implicated in a WhatsApp message exchange between Okagbare and her supplier, Eric Lira, where Oduduru’s name was mentioned in relation to the discussion.
The judgement, signed by Anna Bordiugova and dated September 18, states, “The Athlete has committed ADRVs under Rules 2.6 and 2.2 ADR. The violations shall be considered together as one single first violation.”
As a result, a period of six (6) years of ineligibility has been imposed upon Oduduru by the Panel, starting from the date of the Decision. The period of provisional suspension that was imposed on the Athlete from February 9, 2023, until the date of the decision will be credited towards the total period of ineligibility.
Furthermore, Oduduru’s results from July 12, 2021, until the date when the provisional suspension was imposed (February 9, 2023), will be disqualified, along with all resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points, and prize and appearance money.
Additionally, Oduduru has been directed to pay World Athletics $3,000 “as a contribution towards the legal fees and other expenses incurred in connection with these proceedings.”