Nigerian Para-powerlifter Latifat Tijani banned for doping. GETTY IMAGES

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has suspended Para-powerlifting athlete Latifat Tijani for three years for an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) in breach of the IPC Anti-Doping Code.

The Nigerian athlete Latifat Tijani provided an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for the presence of testosterone and/or its precursors in an out-of-competition urine sample collected on 6 August. She is the reigning Olympic champion and Rio 2016 silver medallist in the -45kg category. Tijani's urine sample was analysed using a special type of analysis, known as Gas Chromatography/Combustion/Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS), which distinguishes between naturally occurring anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) produced by the body and prohibited anabolic agents of external origin. The GC/C/IRMS analysis confirmed the presence of testosterone and/or its metabolites of exogenous origin in Tijani's urine sample. 

Exogenous testosterone is included in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List for 2023 under Class S1.1 and is prohibited at all times. The athlete was provisionally suspended by the IPC on 20 October 2023 pending the outcome of her case and subsequently accepted the findings of the ADRV and the consequences proposed by the IPC. As a result of her violation, the athlete will be ineligible for competition and other athletic activities (other than approved anti-doping education or rehabilitation programmes) for a period of three years from 20 October 2023 to 19 October 2026. All results obtained by the athlete from the date of the sample was collected until the start of the Provisional Suspension will be disqualified, with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes. 

Tijani won gold in the -45kg category at the last Paralympic Games in Tokyo. GETTY IMAGES
Tijani won gold in the -45kg category at the last Paralympic Games in Tokyo. GETTY IMAGES

Each Athlete is solely responsible for the substances found in his/her Sample. An ADRV occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in the athlete's sample, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault. As a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), the IPC remains committed to a doping-free sport environment at all levels. The IPC has established the IPC Anti-Doping Code in accordance with the general principles of the WADC, including the WADC International Standards, and expects to lead the fight against doping in sport for impaired athletes in the spirit of sport. 

The IPC is the international governing body for five Para sports: World Para Athletics, World Para Ice Hockey, World Para Powerlifting, World Shooting Para Sport and World Para Swimming. The IPC's vision is to create an inclusive world through Para sports.