Piggybacking on last week’s announcement that world and Olympic silver medalist Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a reanalysis of samples from the 2007 world championships, it was announced on Monday that her countrywoman, Asli Cakir-Alptekin, who won gold in the 1,500m at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, has been stripped of her Olympic title and will serve an 8-year ban for blood doping.
“Ms Cakir-Alptekin is found to have committed a second anti-doping rule violation, after a first one committed in 2004, and shall serve a period of ineligibility of eight years, to expire at midnight on 9 January 2021,” the report, which was issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, states. “Furthermore, all competitive results obtained by the athlete from 29 July 2010 onwards are disqualified, and all related titles, awards, medals, points and appearance money are forfeited. This includes in particular the Olympic gold medal won in London in 2012 and the gold medal won at the European Championships in the same year.”
Caki-Alptekin, who was investigated by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) based on abnormal blood values in her biological passport, has not competed since January 2013. Given Cakir-Alptekin’s suspension, London silver medalist Gamze Bulut of Turkey will be upgraded to gold with Maryam Jamal of Bahrain sliding into the silver slot and Tatyana Tomashova of Russia making her way onto the podium to claim bronze. Here’s where things get interesting: Bulut, who has never failed a drug test, chopped 17 seconds off her 1,500m personal best from 2011 to 2012, clocking a 4:01.18 in the 2012 Olympic semifinal—a performance which began raising suspicions around her rapid improvement. Tomashova, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, served a 2-year doping suspension in late 2006—along with six other Russian athletes—for manipulating drug samples.
The full decision against Cakir-Alptekin, including all her suspended results and forfeiture of prize money, can be read here on the Court of Arbitration For Sport’s website.