Turkish athletes face new doping allegations
CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) Dozens of high-profile Turkish athletes have reportedly failed drug tests by the International Association of Athletics Federations in the build-up to the Mediterranean Games in Mersin this past month, according to The Telegraph.
Though the results have not been made public yet, it is said the athletes failed tests on their ‘A’ urine samples and are currently awaiting test results from their ‘B’ samples.
With recent cases of elite Turkish athletes having been found doping, such as London 2012 gold medal winner Asli Cakir Alptekein and European 100 meter hurdles champion Nevin Yanit, the International Association of Athletics Federations sent the recent testing team to focus on more second-tier athletes.
The IAAF, according to its rulebook, can “suspend the member until the next meeting of the Congress or for any shorter period” and can “exclude the member’s athletes from any one or more international competition” if a member federation is found to be breaking its obligations under the sport’s anti-doping regulations.
“The NOC of Turkey is taking this matter very seriously and we are urgently reviewing all alleged and an confirmed doping cases involving Turkish athletes, with the Turkish government and all relevant sports and anti-doping authorities,” a Turkish National Olympic Committee statement read. “The NOC of Turkey and the Turkish government have a zero-tolerance policy on doping in sport and therefore we have been cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, fully with all relevant investigations to resolve these cases as quickly and decisively as possible.
“The recent doping discoveries have been fully assisted by the Turkish National Anti-doping Agency who have been working closely with the IAAF and World Anti-doping Agency. The Turkish Anti-Doping Agency is wholly compliant with WADA and is dramatically stepping up its fight against drug cheats.
“Any athletes found guilty of using banned substances will be punished to the full extent of Turkey’s comprehensive anti-doping legislation, other laws, and in accordance with international anti-doping practices.
“The fight against doping is one of the most pressing issues facing world sport right now, and Turkey is playing its part as a proud member of the global sports community. For example, the Doping Control Laboratory in Ankara will be re-accredited later this year which will add significant firepower in our anti-doping campaign. In parallel, the NOCT and TADA are working hard with education authorities, athletes and their representatives to educate and inform young people from the earliest possible age about the dangers and illegality of doping.”
The new doping scandal could potentially hurt Turkey’s chances of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games in 2020, with Istanbul currently bidding against Madrid and Tokyo to host the Games. The International Olympic Committee will announce the Host City at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires 7 September.
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