The disciplinary tribunal of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has handed Divine Oduduru, the Nigerian sprinter, a 6-year ban for breaching two anti-doping rules.
According to the statement released by AIU on Thursday, the Nigerian got a four-year ban for the possession of prohibited substances and the attempted use of a prohibited substance and an additional two years for “aggravating circumstances”.
He was also ordered to pay $3000 to the World Athletics for its expenses regarding the case.
Oduduru had been provisionally suspended in February after he was identified as one of the clients of Eric Lira, a self-acclaimed kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor, who pleaded guilty in a case titled “US’ first Olympic anti-doping charges”.
Oduduru was sanctioned, alongside Blessing Okagbare, as a collaborator with Lira.
Lira was accused of providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics.
In 2022, Okagbare was banned for 11 years following an investigation by AIU after she failed an out-of-competition doping test.
In the latest statement, AIU said WhatsApp messages between Okagbare and Lira revealed that the former was “soliciting prohibited substances on Oduduru’s behalf”.
“And photographic evidence of multiple Prohibited Substances discovered in Oduduru’s Florida apartment,” the statement reads.
“The Prohibited Substances found in Oduduru’s apartment were two boxes of Somatropin, ‘Xerendip’ and ‘Humatrope’, which were identified as human growth hormone; a plastic ziplock bag labelled ‘IGF LR3’ – an abbreviation for synthetic or ‘recombinant’ Insulin Growth Factor – containing three vials, and two boxes of recombinant erythropoietin (EPO). According to testimony, one of the boxes of EPO was open and had only one of six vials remaining.
“Also discovered in the apartment was an opened US Postal Service envelope containing ‘Xerendip’ – addressed to Okagbare and with Lira labelled as the sender.
“The Panel finds it to be an extraordinary coincidence that all the Prohibited Substances found in the Athlete’s apartment were precisely those requested from Mr. Lira by Ms. Okagbare for her and ‘Divine’, specifying that she had to give (to Divine) his stuff too and for which she tested positive (EPO and hGH).”
The statement said that Oduduru maintained his innocence throughout the investigation.
The ban takes retroactive effect from February 9, 2023, until February 8 2029.
FIFA rankings: Super Eagles drop two spots globally — after winless start to WCQ
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have dropped two spots from 40th to 42nd in the world based on FIFA’s latest rankings.
According to the list released on Thursday by the world football governing body, the three-time African champions stayed in sixth position on the continent.
Nigeria’s decline on the log can be attributed to the disappointing start to the Eagles’ 2026 World Cup qualification campaign.
Jose Peseiro’s team failed to beat Lesotho in a 1-1 draw at the Godswill Akpabio stadium on November 16. The team also played out the same scoreline against Zimbabwe in Rwanda.
The Crocodiles of Lesotho were ranked 153rd in the world before the match, while the Warriors of Zimbabwe occupied the 125th slot prior to the Eagles’ encounter.
In FIFA’s latest log, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia retained their positions as the top three African teams in that order, while Algeria and Egypt completed the top five on the continent.
Meanwhile, Argentina remained number one in the world while France and England maintained second and third spots, respectively. Belgium and Brazil took the fourth and fifth positions in the ranking.
The next FIFA world ranking will be released on December 21, 2023.
Sporting Lagos get N1m fine over fans unruliness during NPFL game
The board of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has imposed a fine of N1 million on Sporting Lagos FC over the unruliness of the club’s fans during their match against Heartland FC.
According to a tweet on the league’s official X account, Sporting Lagos fans threw objects on the pitch during the team’s matchday nine fixture, which finished 1-1 at the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium, on Sunday.
The league body charged the Noisy Lagosians with breaching the framework and rules of the NPFL “for failing to provide adequate security”.
Sporting Lagos must pay the fine within 14 days, or failure to comply within the stipulated time would be considered a continuous breach of the league’s framework and rules.
NPFL then ordered the Lagos club to implement an effective matchday security arrangement and organise a re-orientation programme for its fans.
The league body warned the club that any recurrence would lead to severe sanctions.
Sporting Lagos are playing their first-ever season in the NPFL. The team is sitting eighth on the league table after garnering an equal number of wins, draws and losses from 12 games.
No money to pay off Peseiro if we sack him, says NFF board member
Nse Essien, a board member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), says Jose Peseiro, Super Eagles head coach, has not been sacked because the federation cannot afford the severance payment.
Essien spoke with journalists after the Eagles’ 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe in their second game of the 2026 World Cup qualification campaign.
The result left Nigeria winless in the qualifiers, having previously drawn Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio stadium last week.
The performances have generated a lot of criticism for Peseiro, while some social media users called for his sack.
Addressing the situation, Essien said the top brass at the NFF are also “not happy” with the Portuguese and his latest streak of results with the Eagles.
He claimed Peseiro was employed by the sports ministry and not the NFF, and “not paid a dime” have been paid to the Portuguese.
“If you check the internet, almost everyone is asking for the sack of the head coach. It is unfortunate that out of six points, we have just two, and we have found ourselves in a precarious situation,” the NFF board member said.
“When you say NFF should sack the head coach, we didn’t employ him. This regime didn’t employ him when you come to look at it; it was the Sports Ministry that employed him.
“Up till now, we were supposed to have paid their salaries, but up till now, they have not paid a dime.
“When you now sack him, who pays for compensation? That is the situation we find ourselves in. Not a dime has been paid to this coach, who earns about $70,000 every month.
“We have to respect his [Jose Peseiro’s] contract. If we had the money to give to him [pay him off], why wouldn’t we relieve him? We are not happy.”
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others
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