Turkish Olympic gold medallist Asli Cakir Alptekin is one of several athletes to have returned positive doping tests
Turkish middle-distance runner Asli Cakir Alptekin, who won gold in the 1500m at the London 2012 Olympics, has tested positive for banned substances.
Cakir Alptekin could face a lifetime ban, with the athlete having already served a two-year doping ban after testing positive at the IAAF World Junior Championships in 2004 as a teenage steeplechaser.
It is not yet known if the test was taken before or after the London 2012 Olympic Games.
An IAAF spokesman said: “It’s a biological passport case. It’s not finalised yet but we know it’s a positive case. Immediately after the London Olympic Games we discovered abnormalities. We have seen big abnormalities and it is not the only case from Turkey. More are coming.”
A blog post from the editor of Athletics Weekly caused furore in 2012 as he debated whether the Turkish dominance of the women’s 1500m at the London 2012 Olympic Games was ‘delight or doubt’ after the Turkish one-two in the event was met with cynical indifference.
Speaking after the final at the Olympic Stadium, Cakir Alptekin and compatriot Gamze Bulut who claimed silver, faced the world’s press to explain how they had managed to achieve their success. “We came here to take gold and silver,” said Cakir Alptekin at the time. “This is Turkish power.”
Following the race, world marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe, who has led the way when it comes to spreading the anti-doping message, replied to one fan on Twitter who asked her what her face was like at the end of the race by saying: “It wasn’t a happy one! #lifetimebans.”
Also tweeting at the time was British steeplechaser Hatti Archer, who said: “Hate hate hate drugs cheats, ruining races wherever they go,” before ending her message with an x-rated message for cheats.
British athletes Lisa Dobriskey and Laura Weightman brought up the back of the field in the final of the 1500m at the London Olympics and Dobriskey told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’ll probably get into trouble for saying this but I don’t believe I’m competing on a level playing field.”
» Look out for a more in-depth report on this story in next week’s AW, out March 28