Turkey bans Abeylegesse for 2 years

Elvan Abeylegesse (File)
Elvan Abeylegesse (File)

Istanbul - Turkey's athletics federation on Thursday said it had banned Ethiopian-born Turkish long distance runner Elvan Abeylegesse for two years for doping, state media reported.

The disciplinary board of the Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF) agreed the ban for Abeylegesse for taking a banned substance at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.

The athlete had already been suspended after results from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships showed the presence of a banned substance.

She had won silver medals in the 5 000m and 10 000m in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also won silver at the 2007 Osaka World Championships.

Abeylegesse has always rejected taking a banned substance and had sued the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for making technical errors in the testing.

Speaking to Anatolia, her agent Onder Ozbilen lashed out at the Turkish federation, saying the decision was "entirely due to ignorance" as it had refused to take account of the Monaco court case.

"While there is a pending court case, the TAF disciplinary committee has no authority to decide," he said.

Her name was the most prominent among 28 athletes cited in press reports last year as failing drug tests in re-analysis of samples from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.

She reportedly tested positive for stanozolol, a steroid.

The scandal is the latest to hit Turkish athletics after London 2012 1,500 metres Olympic champion Asli Cakir Alptekin was last year banned for eight years for blood doping and stripped of her title.

Turkish sprint hurdler Nevin Yanit was banned for three years for doping in 2013 and returned to competition this month.

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