Nigerian weightlifter, Chika Amalaha faces eight year-ban for doping

November 7, 2019

Nigerian weightlifter, Chika Amalaha who was stripped of a Commonwealth Games gold medal for doping when she was 16 years old, has tested positive again.  

According to reports, she now faces an eight-year ban from the sport. Amalaha, whose sample showed traces of steroids, is the third Nigerian woman to have twice tested positive in recent years – all of them continental champions.  

The past seven Nigerian doping violations announced by the International Weightlifting federation (IWF) are all female, and there are two cases yet to be closed, also women. Amalaha, 22, made her three best career totals in her past three competitions and was all but certain of a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the 55kg category.  

She won this year’s African Championships, was second at the recent All-African Games, and finished 12th at the 2018 IWF World Championships, where she posed at the IWF’s “Lift Clean” display and posted a photo on Instagram.  

Elizabeth Onuah, 24, was suspended for eight years in 2015 and disqualified from first place at the All-African Games of that year, having already been banned as a 15-year-old for doping.  In June this year, Balikis Otunla, 25, a continental champion at 75kg and 81kg, came up positive for steroids for the second time, having been suspended for two years in 2012.  Amalaha was disqualified at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games when she tested positive for masking agents and banned for two years.

Her positive sample is believed to be from the All-African Games in Morocco in August, where the Egypt team landed in so much trouble.

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