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An Update On The Eric Lira/Blessing Okabare Doping Case

Doping Vials
Monday, 22 May 2023 By Mike Cook

In an earlier article, which can be read here1, this author wrote about the case of Eric Lira and Blessing Okabare. To summarize, Eric Lira provided performance-enhancing drugs to Blessing Okabare, a sprinter from Nigeria, in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Lira was the first individual charged with violating the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act2, which allows the United States Department of Justice to bring criminal charges against anyone other than an athlete who attempts, conspires or provides prohibited substances or prohibited methods to any major international sports competition where US athletes participate, or in which US companies have a media interest in.3 The Rodchenkov Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

Okabare was sanctioned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) with a 10-year sanction for violating sections 2.1 (presence of prohibited substance) and 2.2 (use of prohibited substance) of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules (ADR) and aggravating circumstances. The AIU based its decision, in part, on information contained in the criminal complaint filed in the US District Court against Eric Lira (the complaint), which alleged that Eric Lira had supplied performance-enhancing drugs to unnamed individuals identified as “Athlete-1” and “Athlete-2”.

Updates to the case are as follows.

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Mike Cook

Mike Cook

Mike Cook is an arbitrator based out of Hillsboro, Oregon USA.  He is a member of the International Panel at Sport Resolutions and a member of the medical committee of the International Functional Fitness Federation.  Mike is also an international level competitor in CrossFit.

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