Turkey's Abeylegesse stripped of world, Olympic medals

The Ethiopian-born middle and long-distance runner tested positive on August 25, 2007, after winning silver at the 2007 World Athletics Championships in Osaka.

Published: 30th March 2017 04:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2017 04:48 AM   |  A+A-

Lab technicians work at the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory | AP


PARIS: Turkish runner Elvan Abeylegesse was today stripped of two Olympic silver medals and one world silver after a re-analysis of an in-competition doping test dating back to 2007.

The Ethiopian-born middle and long-distance runner tested positive on August 25, 2007, after winning silver at the 2007 World Athletics Championships in Osaka.

Track and field's world governing body, the IAAF, said in a statement Wednesday that her results from August 25, 2007, to August 25, 2009, have been removed, with the 34-year-old retrospectively banned from September 29, 2015, to September 28, 2017.

That means Abeylegesse is set to be stripped not only of that world silver but also the 5000m and 10,000m silver medals she won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The double distance gold she won at the 2010 European championships in Barcelona still stands.

Abeylegesse's name was the most prominent among 28 athletes cited in Turkey in 2015 as failing drug tests in re-analysis of samples from both the 2005 and 2007 world championships.

She reportedly tested positive for stanozolol, a steroid, but tried unsuccessfully to sue the IAAF for making technical errors in the testing.

The disciplinary board of the Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF) had imposed their own two-year ban on the runner in March last year, having already withdrawn her from the 2015 world championships in Beijing.

In their latest list of doping violations, the IAAF also included Turkey's Gamze Bulut.

Bulut was handed a four-year ban, from May 30, 2016, to May 29, 2020, following an Athlete Biological Passport case.

Her results from July 20, 2011, were also chalked, adding to the mess that were the 2012 European 1500m in Helsinki and Olympic race in London later that year.

Bulut will now miss out on taking the Olympic gold she had been in line to receive following the suspension of Alptekin, one of seven runners in that race also to have tested positive for drugs. Ethiopian-born Bahraini Maryam Yusuf Jamal, initially credited with third place, now stands to win gold.

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