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What is doping in sports? Alleged anti-doping rule violation explained and why CJ Ujah could lose Olympic medal

CJ Ujah was part of Team GB’s men’s 4x100m relay team to win silver behind Italy at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

<p>CJ Ujah was part of Team GB’s men’s 4x100m relay team to win silver behind Italy at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (Pic: Getty)</p>

CJ Ujah was part of Team GB’s men’s 4x100m relay team to win silver behind Italy at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (Pic: Getty)

British athletics was rocked this week after Team GB sprinter CJ Ujah was suspended for an alleged breach of anti-doping rules.

Ujah, 27, was part of Great Britain men’s 4x100m relay team to take silver behind Italy at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games held this summer.

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Now the British quartet of Ujah, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake are at risk of losing their medals if Ujah’s ban is upheld.

Ujah tested positive for two banned substances during the Games - Sarms: S23, which aids muscle building, and Ostarine, an anabolic agent.

Britain’s Ujah has been given a provisional suspension from the sport, pending an investigation by the independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

Bahrain middle distance runner Sadik Mikhou, Georgian shot putter Benik Abramyan, and Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno Odhiambo were also found to have breached anti-doping rules.

What is doping in sport?

Doping in sport means athletes are taking illegal substances to improve performance.

As well as the performance enhancing aspect of taking these illegal substances, there is also the athlete’s health to consider with risks involved in doping.

Stimulants and hormones are probably the most common of the five classes of banned drugs, which threaten the competition aspect and integrity of sport.

How long has doping been going on?

Doping has a long history with sport, going back to the Ancient Greeks, but it was only in the 1920s when governing bodies acted to restrict drug use.

Athletics’ world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), became the first to ban doping when it brought in new rules in 1928.

Doping tests were then introduced by cycling and football world governing bodies in 1966, with the first Olympic testing coming in at Mexico City 1968.

Sport’s commitment to clean competition was extended when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999.

Probably the most high profile case of an athlete taking illegal substances to improve performance was that of retired American cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and banned from sport for life after he admitted to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013

Why could CJ Ujah be stripped of an Olympic medal?

If the investigation from the independent Athletics Integrity Unit concludes that Ujah took illegal substances to benefit performance at the Tokyo Olympics then he could face losing his relay silver medal along with the rest of the British team.

In that scenario, Canada could be upgraded to silver with China receiving bronze and the British team are at risk of having nothing to show for their efforts.

A statement from the AIU read: “The AIU now awaits the conclusion of the ITA proceedings against the above athletes, which will determine whether any anti-doping rule violations have been committed and what consequences (if any) should be imposed in relation to the Olympic Games.

“Any consequences beyond the Olympic Games to be imposed upon the athletes under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules will be determined following the conclusion of the ITA proceedings.”