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American arrested for supplying performance-enhancing drugs to Nigerian sprinter, Okagbare, others

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Eric Lira, a citizen of the United States, has been arrested for allegedly supplying performance-enhancing drugs to Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare, and other athletes that competed in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

According to a report in NBC News, prosecutors filed a criminal complaint at the Manhattan Federal Court on Wednesday alleging that Lira, a kinesiologist and naturopathic doctor, brought “misbranded” versions of the drugs to the United States from Central and South America before distributing them to athletes.

The 41-year-old is the first person to be charged under the new U.S. anti-doping law governing international sports competitions.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, Lira distributed the drugs, including human growth hormone and erythropoietin, a blood-building hormone, “for the purpose of corrupting” the 2020 Games.

Lira also is accused of conspiring to violate drug misbranding and adulteration laws.

Meanwhile, a criminal complaint does not name Okagbare but includes details suggesting she was among Lira´s clients.

FBI Assistant Director, Michael J. Driscoll, had said in a statement, “It´s not winning if you take illegal substances – it’s cheating.”

Okagbare had been provisionally suspended for testing positive for human growth hormone in July 2021, just hours before the former world championships silver medalist was due to run in the semifinals of the women´s 100 meters at the Olympics.

She tested positive for the drug in an out-of-competition test.

Federal authorities searched Okagbare’s cellphone as she was returning to the United States from Tokyo and found she had frequently communicated with Lira over an encrypted app, according to the complaint.

“Is it safe to take a test this morning?” Okagbare wrote in one message to Lira, according to the complaint. “Remember I took it Wednesday and then yesterday again. I wasn´t sure so I didn’t take a test.”

In another exchange, Okagbare wrote to Lira that she had just run the 100m in 10.63 seconds. “Eric my body feels so good,” she wrote. “Whatever you did is working so well.”

LIRA encouraged his client, “What you did . . . is going to help you for the upcoming events. You are doing your part and you will be ready to dominate.”

The charges against Lira were brought under the Rodchenkov Act, a law signed in 2020 that prohibits “any person, other than an athlete,” to knowingly influence any “major international sports competition” with the use of prohibited substance.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “At a moment that the Olympic Games offered a poignant reminder of international connections in the midst of a global pandemic that had separated communities and countries for over a year, and at a moment that the Games offered thousands of athletes validation after years of training, Eric Lira schemed to debase that moment by peddling illegal drugs. 

“The promise of the Olympic Games is a global message of unification. Today, this Office sends a strong message to those who would taint the Games and seek to profit from that corruption.”

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Isco completes shock move to Real Madrid’s LaLiga rival

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Isco completes shock move to Real Madrid’s LaLiga rival

Isco has joined Sevilla as a free agent, the Spanish club confirmed on Monday.

The midfielder has been without a club since his contract with Real Madrid expired in June.

Isco has now put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with Sevilla.

He becomes the LaLiga side’s third summer signing after Brazilian defender, Marcao came from Galatasaray and Brazil left-back Alex Telles on loan from Manchester United.

Isco will be reunited with former Spain and Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui.

The 30-year-old made 17 appearances for Real last season, only starting three matches.

Sevilla finished fourth in LaLiga last season and will play in the Champions League this campaign.

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Guardiola reacts as Haaland fumes over not scoring hat-trick against West Ham

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has said Erling Haaland’s anger at not scoring a hat-trick against West Ham, reminded him of Lionel Messi.

Haaland grabbed both goals as the Premier League champions began defence of their title with a 2-0 win at the London Stadium.

The Norway striker converted a first-half penalty, before running onto Kevin De Bruyne’s pass to complete a brace on his City debut.

In a post-match interview, Haaland said it was “a bit s***’” that he was unable to score one more, before being substituted in the closing stages.”

But Guardiola said the player’s reaction was what he would expect from a top player.

“I was fortunate to be with [Lionel] Messi.

“When he scores two, he wants three, when he scores three, he wants four. All the top players are the same.

“They are never satisfied, always hungry, starving for goals, and want more, but at same time, I have to use other players,” Guardiola said.

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Ten Hag to sign two strikers after 2-1 defeat to Brighton

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Manchester United have opened talks to sign Benjamin Sesko and Marko Arnautovic, ESPN reports.

United have contacted Bologna about Arnautovic, who has previously played in the Premier League for Stoke and West Ham.

United manager, Erik ten Hag, has pressed the club to sign an experienced forward who would be content with a back up role off the bench.

Arnautovic is 33 years old and Ten Hag is a fan of the player after working together at FC Twente.

The move for Arnautovic is considered separate from that of Sesko.

Chelsea are also interested in the 19-year-old, although Salzburg would rather keep him until next summer.

Ten Hag was asked after the 2-1 defeat against Brighton on Sunday about the need for new players.

The Dutchman replied: “I don’t go into names and I think in this preseason, 250 players are involved or linked with Man United, so that’s it.

“We have two strikers [Ronaldo and Martial], maybe a third one, [Marcus] Rashford.

“We considered him as a striker, but he had a really good season on the left side and he had two really good chances but the typical nine wasn’t available today.”

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