An American of Nigeria decent, Obi Igbokwe, who helped the United States win a 400 metres mixed relay gold medal at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, has accepted 30 months ban after testing positive for an anabolic steroid, the US Anti-Doping Agency said on Thursday
Igbokwe’s sample came back positive for a metabolite of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT) following an out-of-competition test on May 26.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said a 30-month ban was decided upon, rather than the standard four-year sanction, in part because of “the substantial assistance that Igbokwe provided.
Igbokwe’s ban has been backdated to begin on May 26 2020, and any results achieved since then have been disqualified.
At the 2019 World Championships in Qatari capital Doha, Igbokwe ran in the 4x400m mixed relay heats as the American team qualified fastest for the final.
A completely changed US quartet then won the gold medal in the final.
Igbokwe claimed that the anti-doping rule violation “was unintentional and provided no benefit whatsoever”.
The sprinter said he had “never even heard of” DHCMT before the positive test, and insisted that the trace amount in question – “10 picograms”, per the athlete – would be under acceptable thresholds in place in some other sports.
USADA’s ban will expire on November 26 2022, and Igbokwe is targeting representing the US at the Paris 2024 Olympics once eligible to return to competition.