Divine Oduduru has been suspended by the Association of Athletics Federations (AIU) for possession and use of a banned substance after he was named as a second player linked to disgraced therapist Brian Lira, after compatriot Blessing Okagbare.
The three-time African Games and three-time African Championships medallist has been linked to Texas-based “naturopathic” therapist, based on information into a criminal charge against Lira.
“Athlete 1” in the case was found to be sprint and long jump world medallist Blessing Okagbare, who has been given a 10-year ban.
Since then, Oduduru has been recognized as “Athlete 2”.
The 26-year-old’s links to Texas date back to 2017 when he joined Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock, a five-hour drive to El Paso.
Okagbare, who effectively is serving a lifetime ban as she is unable to return to competition until she is 43, competed for the University of Texas at El Paso Miners in the same city where Lira was based.
Lira was charged under the Rodchenkov Act in the United States – which allows criminal charges to bring against those found to have committed anti-doping rule violations – and faces up to 10 years in prison.
He communicated with the Olympians through encrypted messaging, supplying them with performance-enhancing drugs.
Oduduru faces one charge of possession and one related to the use of undisclosed prohibited substances.
His suspension is related to Lira’s criminal charge from January 2022 after Okagbare was provisionally suspended at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, ruling her out of the semi-finals of the women’s 100 metres after winning he heat.
She had tested positive for a human growth hormone.
In February 2022, the now 34-year-old was handed a 11-year suspension for “multiple breaches of anti-doping rules”.
The Rodchenkov Act was named after Grigory Rodchenkov, who led Russia’s state-sponsored doping programme before turning whistleblower, eventually leading to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s two-year sanctions on the nation, which expired in December 2022.