One of the most impressive female athletes and runners on the planet, particularly when it comes to indoor sprinting, has recently been told that she has tested positive for anabolic steroids – another black eye for the running community, particularly at the international level.
Oluwakemi Adekoya, a dominant force in indoor sprinting and a World Champion gold medalist at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championship, has received a provisional suspension after she provided a urine sample that tested positive for anabolic steroids during in out of competition collection in November 2018.
Just 25 years old, Adekoya was said to have submitted the steroid positive sample at the conclusion of the 2018 season, during the “off-season” when she would have been training for next year. Adekoya was notified in January 2019 about the provisional suspension and has received the “Notice of Allegation” designation because further tests on the sample provided have not yet been concluded.
The anabolic steroid Adekoya is alleged to have used is called Winstrol, and anabolic steroid that has been responsible for dozens and dozens of positive steroid tests over just the last few years.
This is a steroid that has been traditionally used as a short acting anabolic steroid, taken advantage of in the lead up to competition because it can clear the system quickly, new testing protocols and technology have allowed organizations like the W ADA to better detect this steroid before it leaves the body completely.
A lot of athletes worldwide have learned just how advanced these testing protocols have become first-hand, getting busted for using Winstrol several months after they have discontinued its usage. These athletes were led to believe that it wouldn’t be possible to detect this steroid after just a few short weeks, but because of the new testing protocols and technology researchers and laboratories are able to conclusively determine that this substance was in the body quite a while after its usage has been discontinued.
In fact, the IAAF in particular has been using new technology to retroactively analyze stored urine samples from both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics to determine whether or not athletes were clean during those competitions. Dozens of athletes that tested positive back then are now getting busted for having steroids, and we’re talking about samples that go back more than 10 years.
Because it can now so easily be detected – even a decade after use – a lot of athletes have been shying away from taking advantage of Winstrol altogether. It’s pretty surprising that an athlete of any stature like Adekoya would decide to go down this road, especially when there are so many other “boutique” and designer steroids and doping techniques that can help them avoid detection.
Originally born in Nigeria, Adekoya has represented Bahrain ever since 2014. One of a handful of African born athletes that have switched nationalities specifically to compete for significantly richer non-African countries, Adekoya was always seen as a rising star and when she won the 2016 World Championships it was assumed she would continue to dominate the sport at every turn.
Currently holding Bahraini and national records in both the 400 m sprint and the 400 m hurdle events, Adekoya was a participant at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games where she recorded her personal best time during the 400 m dash. She however did not medal at these Olympics, but expected to turn in another fantastic showing at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games – but may not be able to do so any longer if her suspension is solidified and moves from the provisional designation to the permanent designation