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AFN Expresses Shock Over Okagbare’s Doping Rule Violation, Awaits Details From AIU

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Okagbare
…To Miss Women’s 100m Semi Finals Today
…As Amusan Zooms Into Semis Of 100m Hurdles

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria,AFN, says it received with great shock the press release by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), suspending Blessing Okagbare for a doping rule violation.

The Federation, in a statement, says it is in the process of obtaining the relevant details of the announcement after which a full reaction will be issued.

The AIU in the press release says the Nigerian 100/200m record holder has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect after a sample collected from the 32 year old tested positive for human Growth Hormone.

Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

The AIU says it collected the sample from Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July and revealed the WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at mid-day Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.

Okagbare was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension Saturday morning in Tokyo. She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m Saturday evening in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, one of Nigeria’s medal hopefuls, Tobi Amusan qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s 100m hurdles in the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Amusan finished with a time of 12.72s to beat Jamaica’s Yanique Thompson, who came second in the early hours of Saturday.

 

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Good To Be Working With Sancho, Says Man United Interim Coach, Rangnick

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New Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has revealed he tried to sign Jadon Sancho for RB Leipzig.

He said all his efforts to sign the player when he was 17-year-old failed.

Rangnick addressed the press on Friday after he took over the reins of leadership from Michael Carrick at Old Trafford.

The German said he and his team had held talks with Sancho in a bid to bring him to RB Leipzig but the England team snubbed them and joined rivals Borussia Dortmund instead in 2017.

“Jadon Sancho I knew from the Bundesliga. As a matter of fact, I met him when he was 17 in London.

“We were at the time trying to convince him to come to Leipzig and he decided a couple of months later to go to Dortmund which was not a wrong step from his perspective.”

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I’m Desperate To Sign Cavani, Says Xavi

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Barcelona manager, Xavi Hernandez has responded to claims that Barcelona is interested in acquiring the services of Manchester United striker, Edinson Cavani.

The former Barcelona midfielder hailed the Uruguayan as a ‘great player’ but refused to be drawn on Barcelona’s transfer link with him.

Cavani is sidelined due to injury and has made just 8 appearances for Manchester United this season.

The 34-year-old was convinced by sacked manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to extend his stay with United at the end of last season.

Reports emerged during the week that the Uruguayan International is now intent on making the move to Barcelona at the end of the season.

However, Xavi confirmed that the Catalan side is keen on bolstering their squad in January and in the summer but concedes that the club’s financial situation ‘is not great’.

“The club is trying to strengthen the squad, and if we need to strengthen the squad with players coming in some will have to leave,” Xavi told the Spanish press on Friday.

“We’ll see what situation we’re in, what we can do, our financial situation is not great so we’ll see how we manage all these things.

“The club is trying to make something work and they are working very hard. But the reality is what it is.

“I’d rather talk about the players that we have and in case we do get a player in January I’ll talk about perhaps more specific types of players we need in each position and if there are any players that will adapt to us.

“I’m not going to talk about names now, I’ll talk about the players we have now and tomorrow’s important game.”

Asked about a move for the veteran Uruguayan striker, Xavi replied: “You didn’t hear what I said before, right? You haven’t been paying attention!

“I think he’s a good player, but I’d rather talk about the players who are here, who are important, who need the love of the fans and from us as well. But yes, Cavani is a great player.”

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Zouma: West Ham Will Make Chelsea Suffer

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West Ham defender, Kurt Zouma, has said they can make former club Chelsea suffer when they meet in a London Derby on Saturday.

David Moyes’ side is looking to end a run of three games without a win against the Premier League leaders.

Zouma left Stamford Bridge to join the Hammers in a £29.8 million deal in the summer, after seven years and 151 appearances for Chelsea.

The Frenchman has made an impressive start in East London but expects a tough afternoon against Thomas Tuchel’s men.

“It will feel special in a way because I’ve been there for so many years.

“I want to beat Chelsea because I want to beat everybody. I play for West Ham now and I’m very happy to be here. It’s going to be a tough game as we know they have a lot of strength, but we have to use our strength to make them suffer,” Zouma told club’s website.

West Ham remains in the top four despite a run of two defeats and a draw over their past three league games and sits seven points off Liverpool in third and nine behind Thomas Tuchel’s Blues.

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