CJ Ujah causes controversy after being cleared of intentionally taking performance-enhancing drugs. Jasmine Trapnell, Label’s Sport Editor, explores how this has divided fans.

British Olympian CJ Ujah was a crucial part of the silver medal winning relay team in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 that narrowly lost to Italy by a hundredth of a second, with Canada following closely behind. However, following an anti-doping test conducted at the Olympics, news broke that Ujah had tested positive for 2 performance-enhancing drugs: Ostarine and S-23. Ujah and his teammates Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, were all instantly disqualified and stripped of their silver medals, tainting their achievement.

However, he has since been cleared of intentionally taking performance-enhancing drugs by Athletics Integrity Unit and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), however the disqualification does still stand. This means Ujah’s ban was reduced by 2 months to just 22 months and now ends 5th June 2023 – meaning he could be eligible for selection for the World Athletics Championships 2023 in Hungary.

His ban reduction has sparked debates between athletics fans as some call for him to receive a permanent ban. Many people who doubt WADA’s findings are taking to social media to express their disapproval and even claiming “once a cheat always a cheat”.

Instagram comment reading “Once a cheat, always a cheat. Man up and take responsibility for your actions instead of the blame game. Pathetic!”

On the other hand, others are sharing their support for Ujah and celebrating that he was able to clear his name. Once  it was announced that he unintentionally took banned substances, Ujah himself posted on Instagram to say “People often make assumptions without having knowledge of the full facts. I made an error, but I am not a cheat.”. Stating he is “beyond grateful” for the support he has received.

Fellow sprinters including Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita have publicly reached out to Ujah to show their support, with teammate Zharnel Hughes says he has forgiven Ujah as “these things happen”.

It is expected many will be closely watching Ujah when he returns to the track next summer.

Edited by: Izzie Naish (Head of Label) and Jasmine Trapnell (Sports Editor)

Header Designed by: Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)


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