Skip to content

Turkey suspends 31 track and field athletes for doping 1 month before 2020 Olympic host city vote

Aug 5, 2013, 10:29 AM EDT

Asli Cakir Alptekin Reuters

Turkey’s track and field federation announced two-year drug bans for 31 of its athletes Monday, a news story that bordered an Istanbul 2020 Olympic candidate city panel on its website with the slogan, “Bridge Together.”

The timing for terrible news is certainly not ideal. The nation has been flooded with negative press for months leading into the Sept. 7 vote in Buenos Aires, where the International Olympic Committee will choose from Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo for the host of the 2020 Olympics.

The latest setback for Turkey was not surprising. The 31 bans came after reports of massive positive tests from Turkish athletes leading into the Mediterranean Games in June. Five days ago, nine other Turkish track and field athletes received two-year bans.

The list of athletes, which includes the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s hammer throw, can be found on the Turkish track and field website here.

More suspensions could be on the way, including one for the 2012 Olympic champion in the women’s 1,500 meters, Asli Cakir Alptekin. She was provisionally suspended in May through the biological passport program as irregularities were found in her blood levels. She could face a lifetime ban because she’s already served a two-year ban for previous doping.

“The files of Asli Cakir Alptekin, Nevin Yanit and Pinar Saka were not assessed because the process of investigation following their defense statements is continuing,” the federation in the statement on its website.

Turkey’s track and field chairman resigned amid the scandal last week.

Long list of star track and field athletes who won’t compete at world championships

Latest Posts
  1. IPC Sled Hockey World Championship starts Sunday; full broadcast schedule

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:10 AM EDT

    Sled Hockey Getty Images

    The U.S.’ first opponent marks a rematch of the Sochi gold-medal game.

  2. Kirani James breaks Michael Johnson record at Drake Relays

    Apr 25, 2015, 10:33 AM EDT

    Kirani James AP

    Only two men have ever run faster this early in the season.

  3. Bruce Jenner: I’m a woman; Olympians react

    Apr 25, 2015, 8:53 AM EDT

    AP AP

    Jenner explained how he felt different while winning the decathlon at the Montreal 1976 Olympics.

  4. Watch Drake Relays, Penn Relays on NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:51 PM EDT

    Justin Gatlin Getty Images

    Several Olympic champions are in the fields at the two meets.

  5. Michael Phelps to move to Arizona with coach Bob Bowman

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:50 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Phelps has followed Bowman to an NCAA stop before.

  6. Simone Biles discusses Martha Karolyi’s team selfie, U.S. teammates, more

    Apr 24, 2015, 12:24 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Biles is in the middle of a four-month break from competition.

  7. Sled hockey helps Josh Sweeney in his recovery (video)

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

    Josh Sweeney Getty Images

    Sweeney and Team USA begin World Championship play Sunday.

  8. Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir headed to White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Kentucky Derby

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:26 AM EDT

    Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski Getty Images

    NBC’s figure skating analysts will be visible daily during Kentucky Derby week.

  9. New MLB commissioner wants long-term baseball pledge from Olympics

    Apr 23, 2015, 4:51 PM EDT

    AP AP

    But he also shares the sentiment of Bud Selig on MLB participation.

  10. Doug E. Doug reflects on ‘Cool Runnings’

    Apr 23, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT

    Doug E. Doug Getty Images

    Doug wasn’t allowed to bobsled while filming, but he recently took his first run.

  11. Meb Keflezighi hopes to be an example for Ryan Hall as Olympic trials approach

    Apr 23, 2015, 12:29 PM EDT

    AP AP

    “It depends who you ask,” Keflezighi said of the U.S. Olympic Trials favorite.

  12. U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials to return to Iowa City

    Apr 23, 2015, 9:02 AM EDT

    Jordan Burroughs Getty Images

    Two Olympic champions appear headed for a second Olympics, while a World champion seeks a first Olympic berth.

  13. Paul Wylie ‘resting comfortably’ after heart problem

    Apr 22, 2015, 3:12 PM EDT

    Paul Wylie Getty Images

    Wylie had a “heart abnormality while exercising,” his wife said.

  14. Nadia Comaneci: Simone Biles’ difficulty is almost equal to men

    Apr 22, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Nadia Comaneci Getty Images

    Comaneci, the subject of a Katie Holmes-directed documentary, discussed current gymnastics topics.

  15. Larry Bird, David Ortiz among Boston 2024 board of directors

    Apr 22, 2015, 12:21 PM EDT

    Larry Bird Getty Images

    U.S. Olympic marathon and figure skating medalists are also in the group.

  16. Ten sports where Brazil can win medals at Rio 2016

    Apr 22, 2015, 11:48 AM EDT

    Arthur Zanetti Getty Images

    Included are some potential U.S.-Brazil duels.

  17. Sweden mulls 2026 Winter Olympic bid

    Apr 22, 2015, 9:11 AM EDT

    Sweden Getty Images

    Sweden scrapped a bid for 2022, and a joint Norway-Sweden bid has also been proposed.

  18. Figure skaters recall odd gifts from fans

    Apr 21, 2015, 3:51 PM EDT

    Figure skating gifts Getty Images

    Michelle Kwan, Meryl Davis, Evan Lysacek and more Olympians tell their memorable stories.