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Tokyo Olympics: Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare fails drug test

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Nigerian sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare Ighoteguonor has been “provisionally” suspended for doping at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, AIU, made this known in a press statement on Saturday.

AIU said that Okagbare tested positive for a banned substance – human growth hormone.

The anti-doping body said the 32-year-old tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test on July 19 – four days before the Olympics started.

The results of that test were only received by the track and field’s anti-doping body late Friday after Okagbare, who won her heat in 11.05seconds, qualified for the semifinals of women’s 100m race at the Tokyo Olympics.

Okagbare will no longer compete at the Tokyo Olympics following the suspension.

The statement read in part, “The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria today with immediate effect after a sample collected from the sprinter tested positive for human Growth Hormone.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo. She was scheduled to participate in the semifinals of the women’s 100m this evening.

“The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”

This is coming less than a few days after the AIU banned 10 Nigerian athletes.

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2022 World Cup: FIFA announces new date for kick off

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FIFA has confirmed that the 2022 World Cup will now kick off on Sunday, November 20, rather than the initially scheduled date of Monday, November 21.

The first game will now be between the host nation Qatar and Ecuador instead of Senegal’s match against the Netherlands.

This means the tournament will be extended to 29 days, with the final taking place on Sunday, December 18.

FIFA confirmed this on Thursday, in what was a unanimous decision by a committee comprising FIFA president, Gianni Infantino and presidents of the six continental soccer bodies.

“The change ensures the continuity of a long-standing tradition of marking the start of the FIFA World Cup with an opening ceremony on the occasion of the first match featuring either the hosts or the defending champions.

“The decision followed an assessment of the competition and operational implications, as well as a thorough consultation process and an agreement with key stakeholders and the host country,” FIFA said in a statement.

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Rashford takes decision on joining PSG

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Manchester United striker, Marcus Rashford has decided to rule out any possibility of leaving the club to join Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

PSG are strongly interested in signing Rashford from Man United this summer.

The French Ligue 1 champions have held talks with Rashford’s representatives and want to bring the England international to the Parc des Princes.

But according to Daily Mail, Rashford has now responded to their approach by saying that he is happy at Man United and that his priority is to stay at Old Trafford this summer.

The report added that Man United are relaxed over the situation – despite the fact that Rashford’s contract is set to end on June 30, 2023.

Rashford has scored 93 goals in 304 games for Man United.

The 24-year-old has helped Man United win the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League since he made his debut back in 2015, having progressed through the club’s youth ranks.

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Aguero warns Guardiola against selling Man City star

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Former Argentina striker, Sergio Aguero, has warned Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City against selling Bernardo Silva this summer.

Aguero said Silva is a great player, adding that he would be surprised if City under Guardiola let the Portugal international leave the Etihad this summer.

Silva has been linked with a move to LaLiga giants, Barcelona, this summer.

“Bernardo is a great player. He carries the ball, he sacrifices, has quality to assist and score goals, and he can play in different positions,” Aguero told Stake.

“It would surprise me if City let him go. He’s a player who contributes a lot every season, but everything is possible.

“If he finally arrives at Barca, then he’ll be someone who can be key to the possession game that Xavi likes.”

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