US charges man with giving illegal drugs to athletes for Tokyo Olympics

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Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare reacts after winning her race in the women's 100m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 30, 2021.

FILE–Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare reacts after winning her race in the women’s 100m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 30, 2021. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

NEW YORK—U.S. prosecutors have charged a man with supplying performance-enhancing drugs to athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, a first under a federal law allowing criminal charges against doping conspirators at events involving U.S. athletes, broadcasters and sponsors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said Eric Lira, 41, distributed drugs, including human growth hormone, “for the purpose of corrupting” the Tokyo games.

Lira obtained misbranded versions of prescription drugs used to boost production of red blood cells from Central and South America and distributed them to two athletes, prosecutors said.

One of the athletes believed to be discussed in the…

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