July 31 - Turkey's doping problems were put firmly under the spotlight again today when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced that nine athletes had been banned after failing drugs tests - just two days after its President Lamine Diack had warned they needed to "clean their house".
The world governing body revealed that six of the athletes are women, including two teenagers, as Turkey finds itself coming under increasing pressure to sort out the problem amid warnings that it could harm Istanbul's bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Six cases involved field athletes testing positive for stanozolol at Turkey's University Championships held in May at Bursa.
Stanozolol is the steroid used by Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Among those six, three athletes also tested positive for oral turinabol, the steroid used in state-sponsored East German doping programmes inthe 1970s and 1980s.
The IAAF said 17-year-old discus thrower Burcu Akmazoglu tested positive for both banned drugs.
A second teenager, 18-year-old hammer thrower Elif Akbas, also tested positive for stanozolol at the student event.
An IAAF list of sanctioned athletes shows that stanozolol and oral turinabol were both found in samples taken at Bursa from Kubra Danis, a 22-year-old shot putter, and Gokce Celenk, a 25-year-old discus thrower.
Javelin throwers Sarik Bilgin, who is 25, and 21-year-old Gulsum Ozdemir Gunes also tested positive for stanozolol.
The IAAF said the other cases involve two field athletes and one runner testing positive for stanozolol, methandienone and oxandrolone, respectively.
Ali Ekber Kayas (pictued top), a 26-year-old 400 metres runner who competed at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, gave a sample with oxandrolone at a national competition in May 2012.
He is suspended until July 2, 2014.
Shot putter Nilgun Ozturk tested positive for methandienone at the same competition, and received the same ban as Kayas.
The IAAF said 21-year-old javelin thrower Berkay Tolun tested positive for stanozolol during training in May.
His ban expires on June 6, 2015.
Earlier this week, IAAF President Diack had warned that Turkey should step up its efforts against doping.
"They cannot bid for the Olympics if they cannot control their athletes," Diack, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), exclusively told insidethegames.
"I'm not saying we get rid of the Federation but they need to clean their house."
More than 30 Turkish athletes have failed drugs tests in the past year, including last year's Olympic 1500m champion Aslı Çakır Alptekin and two-time defending European champion 100n hurdler Nevin Yanıt, and Diack has told senior Government officials that the situation is seriously jeopardising their bid.
"It's not the Olympic Committee or the [athletics] Federation who must solve the problem - it's the Government," said Diack.
"I have already talked to them [the Government].
"They asked me, as an IOC member, what my advice would be.
"I said, 'Look, there is an important issue - it is that you have to finish with doping.'
"I told them that if they are going to win the bid I think you need to take care of this big issue.
"They are bidding for the 2020 Olympics but every few days we have three or four athletes caught for doping."
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