Documents claim that a British Olympian ‘obtained prohibited substances’ in the United States.

A male athlete from Britain is currently under investigation by anti-doping authorities following allegations from US court documents stating that he received prohibited substances while in the United States in 2021.

The papers filed in New York reveal that the athlete was supplied with performance-enhancing drugs by Eric Lira, an American therapist who now faces imprisonment for up to 10 years under the recently enacted Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, which criminalizes such activities.

Although the British athlete remains unnamed, the Athletics Integrity Unit is allegedly aware of their identity, and it is anticipated that charges will be brought forth soon. Both UK Anti-Doping and UK Athletes have chosen not to provide any comments on the matter.

The unsealed indictment, submitted in the southern district of New York on Thursday, acknowledges that Lira supplied banned substances, including erythropoietin, human growth hormone, and clenbuterol, to at least three Olympic athletes representing Nigeria, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Although the athletes are not explicitly identified, information in the records confirms that Athlete 1 refers to Blessing Okagbare, a star in the 100m and 200m events for Nigeria, who withdrew from the 100m semi-finals in Tokyo after testing positive for human growth hormone.

The US prosecutor’s indictment declares that “Athlete 1 [Okagbare] was not the only Olympic competitor who received PEDs [performance-enhancing drugs] from Lira.” It further states that Lira also provided substances to an athlete from Switzerland (Athlete 2) ahead of the 2021 Olympic Games, discussing with an intermediary the drugs’ detectability in doping tests.

Within “indictment 4”, the document reveals that Lira met multiple times with a third Olympic athlete representing the United Kingdom (Athlete 3) during the summer of 2021, intending to supply them with performance-enhancing drugs. It highlights that Lira’s actions aimed to manipulate the outcomes of the Tokyo Olympics, and the extent of his offenses far exceeds his limited admission of guilt in his sentencing submission.

The documents additionally implicate two other American coaches, O’Neil Wright and Dewayne Barrett, for their involvement with Lira. According to the Washington Post, the Swiss athlete met Lira at John F Kennedy International Airport to purchase human growth hormone, with Lira later invoicing Barrett $4,590 for the transaction.

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