London 1500m champion stripped of title for doping

Asli Cakir Alptekin: Doper. Picture: Getty
Asli Cakir Alptekin: Doper. Picture: Getty
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LONDON 2012 Olympic 1,500 metres champion Asli Cakir Alptekin of Turkey has agreed to give up her title and serve an eight-year ban for blood doping.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said yesterday it had approved a settlement by Alptekin and athletics’ world governing body, the IAAF.

Alptekin forfeited all her results from 29 July 2010 onwards, including the 2012 Olympic gold and her 2012 European Championship title.

Now 29, Alptekin won gold in the London Games after lowering her personal best time by almost nine seconds throughout the season. CAS said the IAAF charge that Alptekin manipulated her blood between 29 July 2010, and 17 Ocrober 2012, “is upheld by default.”

Alptekin was investigated based on abnormal blood values in her biological passport. The IAAF appealed after the Turkish Athletics Federation cleared Alptekin in December 2013.

The agreement published by CAS notes that “she is unable to substantiate the explanations she has offered for those values, and therefore is unable to rebut the IAAF’s assertion that those values are the result of some form of blood manipulation.”

The eight-year-ban is the maximum allowed by the IAAF for a second doping offence of that type, the ruling said. Alptekin previously served a two-year ban for a positive test for an anabolic steroid at the 2004 world junior championships. She has not raced competitively since being provisionally suspended by IAAF in January 2013.

The Olympic gold could now be awarded to Alptekin’s team-mate, Gamze Bulut, who finished second. Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain was third and could be promoted to silver.

The fourth-place runner in the London race who would be in line for bronze is Tatyana Tomashova. She served a two-year ban imposed in 2008 for her part in a Russian conspiracy to avoid doping detection.

Tomashova, a two-times 1,500m world champion, who also won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, was among several Russian women whose urine was swapped for clean samples.