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31 Turkish athletes suspended for doping

Published August 5, 2013 8:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ankara, Turkey • In the latest scandal affecting Turkish track and field, 31 athletes have been suspended for two years each for doping violations.

The Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF) announced the sanctions Monday, including that of hammer thrower Esref Apak, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist. His case had been announced in June.

The bans follow five days after the IAAF confirmed that nine Turkish athletes, including two teenagers, got two-year bans for using anabolic steroids.

It could get worse for the sport in Turkey when TAF completes investigations into alleged doping by Asli Cakir Alptekin, the women's 1,500-meter champion at the 2012 Olympics, and two other female team members in London last year.

"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 said Monday in a statement published on its website.

At least three of the 31 new suspensions, including Apak, were on Turkey's London Olympic team. Tugce Sahutoglu competed in women's hammer and Elif Yildirim was in the 4x400 meters relay squad.