Banned Turk­ish duo to lose Olympic medals

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Turk­ish fe­male dis­tance run­ners El­van Abeylegesse and Gamze Bu­lut are set to be stripped of sil­ver medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games af­ter be­ing handed bans for dop­ing on Wed­nes­day.

The sanc­tions will also mean the re­al­lo­ca­tion of medals awarded a decade ago at the 2007 Osaka ath­let­ics world cham­pi­onships.

Both women ap­peared on Wed­nes­day on the IAAF’s lat­est list of dop­ing vi­o­la­tions and sanc­tions.

Ethiopian-born El­van was dis­qual­i­fied of her re­sults from Aug 26, 2007 to Aug 25, 2009 af­ter a retest of a 2007 sam­ple showed pos­i­tive for the banned steroid stanozolol.

That means she will lose the 5,000m and 10,000m sil­ver medals from the 2008 Bei­jing Olympics and 10,000m sil­ver from the 2007 world cham­pi­onships.

Bri­tain’s Jo Pavey will now get the 2007 bronze medal and Kara Goucher of the United States will be up­graded to sil­ver.

“I am thrilled with the news but it is kind of bit­ter­sweet,” Jo told the BBC of what will be her first world medal.

“I had a few years in the prime of my ca­reer where I kept just miss­ing out on medals and I al­most had to go back to the draw­ing board and think how I could find that ex­tra.

“Now I look back and I think about the other medals I might have had and ac­tu­ally I was do­ing a lot of things right but with the cheats out there it does make it so much more dif­fi­cult and so frus­trat­ing,” she said.

Gamze, a 1,500m sil­ver medal­list at Lon­don 2012, was handed a four-year ban for a vi­o­la­tion of the ath­letes’ bi­o­log­i­cal pass­port rules.

That race has been de­scribed by some as the ‘dirt­i­est race in his­tory’ with six of the top nine, in­clud­ing the gold and sil­ver medal­lists, handed bans be­fore or since.

Bahrain’s Ethiopian-born Maryam Yusuf Ja­mal, third orig­i­nally, now stands to in­herit the gold.

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