3rd Nigerian runner fails doping test

A third Nigerian runner has failed a doping test at the Commonwealth Games and been stripped of two silver medals.

Folashade Abugan tested positive for a steroid and waived her right to have a “B” sample tested, the Commonwealth Games Federation announced Friday, the morning after closing ceremonies at the New Delhi event.

She won silver medals in the 400 meters and was part of the Nigerian team which finished second in the women’s 1,600-meter relay.

Two other Nigerian runners tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine during the games. Osayomi Oludamola was stripped of a gold medal in the women’s 100 meters and Samuel Okon, who was sixth in the final of the men’s 110-meter hurdles, was also disqualified.

Indian race walker Rani Yadav tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone after finishing sixth in the 20-kilometer event.

Yadav and Abugan face bans of up to two years.

Friday’s announcement from the CGF came only hours after the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority announced it had banned another Nigerian athlete for two years for testing positive for an anabolic agent.

ASADA said Nigerian Olympic sprinter Bowa Lawal tested positive for the prohibited substance methandienone in March at the IAAF’s 2010 Melbourne Track Classic.

Nigerian officials at the Commonwealth Games said they were investigating the spate of doping findings. After the second positive was revealed, a Nigerian athletics official said every athlete who prepared for the New Delhi Games in Nigeria had undergone out-of-competition testing.

The CGF conducted about 1,500 doping tests in New Delhi, including medalists in all events.

“Abugan’s ‘A’ sample was found to demonstrate findings consistent with an exogenous origin of endogenous steroids … (and) indicate an application of testosterone prohormone,” the CGF said in a statement.

The statement also said she “wrote to the CGF waiving her rights to have her “B” sample analyzed. She also admitted liability.”

All Abugan’s results were nullified, meaning the silver medal for the 400 will be awarded to Aliann Tabitha Pompey of Guyana, with the bronze going to Christine Amertil of the Bahamas.

In the women’s relay, England was elevated to the silver medal position and Canada will be awarded bronze.

India was a surprise winner of the women’s 1,600 relay on the final night of the athletics competition, the country’s first Commonwealth Games track gold medal since 1958.

Oludamola and Okon had their New Delhi results nullified, but there is some question over the duration of the bans they face.

The World Anti-Doping Agency recently loosened the classification of methylhexaneamine beginning next year to the “specified stimulant” list, which covers drugs that are more susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties.

Sanctions for use of the drug can be reduced if athletes can prove they did not intend to enhance performance. Penalties can range from a warning to a two-year ban.

WADA said methylhexaneamine was sold as a medicine until the early 1970s and has now reappeared in some nutritional supplements and cooking oils.


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