Exclusive: Turkey Olympic 1500m champion facing life ban after IAAF appeal in doping case

Wednesday, 12 February 2014
By Duncan Mackay

Asli Çakır Alptekin faces a lifetime ban from athletics after the IAAF decided to appeal against the decision by Turkey to clear her of doping ©Getty ImagesFebruary 12 - Olympic 1500 metres champion Asli Çakır Alptekin has had a suspension for doping reimposed on her after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) appealed against the decision by Turkey to clear her.

Çakır Alptekin was provisionally suspended by the Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF) last May after abnormalities were detected in her biological passport, resulting in her missing the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in August.

But she was controversially cleared in December by the TAF, a decision now being challenged by the IAAF.

"As we are entitled to do under Rule 42, the IAAF has lodged an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (Switzerland) against the decision of the Turkish Athletics Federation Disciplinary Board in the case of Asli Cakir Alptekin taken on 19 December 2013," a spokesman from the IAAF told insidethegames.

"Please note that TAF has been informed of this decision and that both TAF and the athlete have been cited as defendants for this CAS case.

"As a consequence of this appeal, the IAAF Doping Review Board has decided to re-impose a provisional suspension on Ms Alptekin in accordance with IAAF Rule 42.15.

"This provisional suspension takes effect immediately.

"Cakir Alptekin is ineligible to participate in any athletics competition in Turkey or abroad pending final resolution of her case by the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

Turkey's Asli Çakır Alptekin raised suspicions when she improved so dramatically to win the Olympic gold medal at London 2012 ©Getty ImagesTurkey's Asli Çakır Alptekin raised suspicions when she improved so dramatically to win the Olympic gold medal at London 2012 ©Getty Images

Cakir Alptekin had already served a two-year suspension in 2004 after a positive dope test at the World Junior Championships.

If she is found guilty of a second offence, she could be banned for life. 

Last the IAAF confirmed the biological passport case involving Cakir Alptekin, revealing "abnormalities" had been discovered immediately after London 2012, where she was the surprise winner of the gold medal having improved 17 seconds over the course of the year.

Biological passports work by creating individual blood profiles for each athlete, rather than testing for specific performance-enhancing drugs.

If a blood reading deviates markedly from previous measures an athlete can face a doping charge.

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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