Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake ‘heartbroken’ after loss of Olympic silver medal

Mitchell-Blake was supportive of CJ Ujah, whose positive drug test caused the disqualification, saying: ‘He is my brother, I love him’

Phil Medlicott
Saturday 19 February 2022 15:14
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Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake was in action in Birmingham, a day after losing his Olympic silver medal (Martin Rickett/PA)
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake was in action in Birmingham, a day after losing his Olympic silver medal (Martin Rickett/PA)

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake said he was “heartbroken” and that it had not yet fully sunk in a day on from losing his Olympic silver medal because of CJ Ujah’s failed drugs test.

It was announced on Friday that Great Britain were being stripped of the 4x100m relay silver claimed at the Tokyo Games last summer after Ujah was found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Mitchell-Blake was subsequently in action on Saturday at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham, where he failed to advance from his 60 metres heat after finishing seventh.

And the 27-year-old said afterwards when asked about the news of the quartet of him, Ujah, Zharnel Hughes and Richard Kilty losing the silver: “I was happy that some news came out so we can actually get the process going.

“But then obviously it’s a nail in the coffin saying you’re getting stripped of your Olympic silver medal. It hasn’t really 100 per cent sunk in yet, but when you say it and repeat it and think about it, it’s not a nice feeling.

“We’re all heartbroken by it. It’s gutting for us, the nation, everybody.”

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, centre, embraces CJ Ujah after finishing second in the 4 x 100m relay in Tokyo as team-mate Richard Kilty looks on (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ujah, who tested positive for the prohibited substances ostarine and S-23, said in a statement on Friday he had “unknowingly consumed a contaminated supplement” and apologised to his “team-mates, their families and support teams”.

Kilty said in a BBC interview that Ujah had spoken to his team-mates via Zoom a couple of months earlier to explain his situation and apologise.

Mitchell-Blake said: “I feel like a lot is still yet to be revealed, and we just have to let everything play out.

“(Ujah) is my brother, I love him and I know he wouldn’t do anything intentional. It’s unfortunate that things happen of this nature, but he’s taken accountability and that is all you can ask for.

“I accept his apology wholeheartedly. I’ve known him for a long time, we were friends before the sport and we’ll continue to be friends. It has to be heart-wrenching for him, and naturally it’s heart-wrenching for us.

“We (he and Ujah) speak quite frequently – not so much about the topic, although I know he’s got a lot going on in his mind already. I just try to support him as much as I can.”

Mitchell-Blake added: “We go forward towards Paris (the 2024 Olympics) and try to use this and get a medal in Paris, whether individually or collectively.”

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