By Duncan Mackay

Asli Cakir Alptekin London 2012 with Turkish flagMarch 22 - Turkey's Olympic 1500 metres champion Asli Cakir Alptekin faces a lifetime ban after blood "abnormalities" were discovered in her samples, indicating that she had been using banned performance-enhancing drugs. 

The revelation could not have come at a worse time for Turkish sport with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission, chaired by Britain's Sir Craig Reedie, arriving in Istanbul to begin its inspection on Sunday (March 24) of the city's bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Cakir Alptekin has already served a two-year doping ban after testing positive at the World Junior Championships in 2004 as a teenage steeplechaser and a second infaction would carry an automatic lifetime suspension.

It is unclear yet whether Cakir Alptekin tested positive before or after London 2012. 

Asli Cakir Alptekin at London 2012Asli Cakir Alptekin on her way to the Olympic gold medal at London 2012, a victory now in doubt

If it was before then she would also lose her Olympic title, which she won finishing ahead of compatriot Gamze Bulut, although her reputation would be seriously tainted.

Afterwards Cakir Alptekin claimed it was "Turkish power" but several observers, including world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe, cast doubt over the performance.

Britain's Lisa Dobriskey, who finished tenth in the race at London 2012, was also outspoken.

"I'll probably get into trouble for saying this but I don't believe I'm competing on a level playing field," she claimed immediately afterwards.

Those supsicions now appear to have been to have justified.

"It's a biological passport case," said a spokesman for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

"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."

Nevin YanitNevin Yanit, celebrating victory in the 100m hurdles at the European Championships in Helsinki last year, is allegedly facing a drugs ban

Among other Turkish athletes also implicated in the scandal is allegedly European 100m hurdles champion, Nevin Yanit, 27, fifth in the final at London 2012.

The 27-year-old Yanit won gold in Helsinki last year and also triumphed at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg earlier this month.

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

If an athlete's records deviate from previous records and set parameters over time, that can be enough to open a doping case.

But the Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF) claimed that they are not aware of problems involving any of its athletes, including Cakir Alptekin.

They said on their website that after London 2012 they had been informed that Cakir Alptekin's drugs tests had come back negative.

Mehmet Terzi, the TAF President, claimed "there is no case for the moment, we do not have anything in writing, there are only media reports."

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