Esref Apak one of 31 Turkish athletes handed two-year doping bans

Turkish Athletics Federation reveals list of 31 track and field athletes, including Olymic medallist Apak, who have each received two-year bans

Posted on August 5, 2013 by
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A total of 31 Turkish athletes have been suspended for two years for doping violations, confirms a list revealed by the country’s athletics federation on Monday.

The list, which can be found on the federation’s website and includes the 2004 Olympic hammer silver medallist Esref Apak, outlines maximum bans of two years each but does not specify details of the violations or the dates for which the bans apply.

Fellow hammer thrower Tugce Sahutoglu and Elif Yildirim, part of Turkey’s 4x400m relay squad, had competed along with Apak at the London Olympic Games last summer.

Telegraph Sport had exclusively revealed that drugs testing ahead of the Mediterranean Games, hosted by Turkey in June, had returned a number of positive tests. The latest news is sure to affect Istanbul’s bid to fight off Madrid and Tokyo to stage the Olympic Games in 2020, with an announcement due from the IOC in September.

An investigation into the alleged doping of Turkish middle-distance runner Asli Cakir Alptekin, who won gold in the 1500m at the London 2012 Olympics, is said to be ongoing.

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