July, 19 2023.
Tobilola Amusan has pleaded her innocence, while reiterating that she has been a clean athlete, all her career, leading to her being a World Champion (Women's 100 meters hurdles) and now that she's been suspended for non-doping infractions by the world Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Nigerians woke-up on Wednesday morning to the depressing news that the only World Champion and Record Holder it has has been charged by the AIU for missing three out-of-competition tests, and that news was swiftly followed by another, the provisional suspension of the athlete by the AIU.
Only on Tuesday in Budapest, Amusan won the last Gold Race in the build-up to the World Athletics Championships, which also holds in the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
Her time of 12.34 Seconds was however .01 seconds slower than the 12.34 Seconds she returned in another meeting in Poland, 48 hours earlier.
But both performances and her winning time of 12.47 Seconds in Stockholm, Sweden; were seen as a welcome progression. But when compared with the 12.70 Seconds, with which she won the Nigeria National trials in Benin City, skeptics opined that it was down to the adverse wet conditions on that day.
Having been twice beaten by one of most visible rivals, Jasmine Camacho-Quine of Puerto Rico in Lausanne Switzerland, and in Ostrava, the Czech Republic; there were growing concerns of her state of mind and fitness, ahead of the defence of her world title, in just about a month's time.
So, her winning back-to-back-back races in succession received a lot of plaudits, by pundits who concurred that "Operation defend the women's 100 meters hurdles world title", was fully alive and gathering momentum.
According to the AIU, "a provisional Suspension imposed in a non-doping case does not in any way abrogate the presumption of innocence and it is not an early determination of guilt. Rather, it is an order made on a precautionary basis to safeguard the interests of the sport".
The AIU in consultation with other relevant anti-doping agencies have also stated that Amusan would soon face arbitration to answer to exhanurate herself from any blame or complicity. Her failure to do this implies that she is guilty as charged, and will have to face the consequences.
Painfully as that may sound; Amusan, a back-to-back Commonwealth Champion and Nigerian Champion for the third year running, has in a Twitter post reiterated her unveivering faith that she will be able to clear her name, and the entire saga would be resolved in her favour, to make way for the successful defence of her world title, at the world championships in Budapest, next month, www.ckdmedia.ng reports.