Turkish Runners Banned For Doping; Will Lose Olympic And World Championship Medals

Elvan Abeylegesse, Photo: Shutterstock

On Wednesday, Turkish runners Elvan Abeylegesse and Gamze Bulut were banned for doping by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Abeylegesse retroactively failed a doping test on a sample taken at the 2007 World Championships. She has been banned from the sport for two years, and her results between 2007 to 2009 have been voided. Abeylegesse is also set to lose her Olympic silver medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, won at the 2008 Beijing Games, and a silver medal in the 10,000m from the 2007 world championships.

Shalane Flanagan, who finished third in the 10,000m in the 2008 Olympics, will now be upgraded to the silver medal, with bronze going to Linet Chepkwemoi Masai of Kenya. Via Twitter, Flanagan said she was “elated” at the news but “I still have never been contacted by @iaaforg or IOC about next step…”

In the 5,000m, Meseret Defar of Ethiopia would get silver and Sylvia Kibet of Kenya would get bronze.

As for the 2007 World Championships, Kara Goucher would now be awarded the silver medal, with Great Britain’s Jo Pavey receiving bronze. Goucher tweeted that she was excited but noted that the “mental/emotional/financial anguish of this has been difficult.” Pavey told The Guardian that she “would have preferred to have been on the podium in Osaka [Japan] but it is good to have a resolution.”

Bulet has been given a four-year suspension by the IAAF for a violation of her biological passport. She will lose her silver medal in the 1,500 at the 2012 London Olympics.

RELATED: What Motivates Some Runners To Cheat?

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