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Saturday 09, Jan 2016

  Turkey Will Be Mentioned In Upcoming WADA Report

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Owen Gibson of The Guardian has reported that the upcoming report by the World Anti-Doping Agency will mention Olympic gold medalist Asli Cakir Alptekin and Turkey.

In November last year, the World Anti-Doping Agency published the findings of emails, documents, whistleblower and witness statements, laboratory records, videos, photographs, recordings, and other information outlets for determine whether Russia was guilty of running systemic doping in the country. Thereafter, Russia was suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federation until they met WADA guidelines. The second report by WADA’s independent commission is likely to have its focus on cover-up of positive tests by Russians and the levels of bribery and blackmail that took place between officials. Four senior officials were recently suspended by the world governing body of athletics as part of their own internal review.

This week’s 170-page report by the International Association of Athletics Federations referenced a meeting between the WADA chairman, Sir Craig Reedie, and the then deputy Russian sports minister Yuri Nagornykh in September 2014. Nagornykh told that Valentin Balakhnichev, president of the All Russia Athletics Federation and one of four senior officials banned by the IAAF ethics commission, told him that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency had been blackmailed by the IAAF since 2011. Nagornykh also remarked the system was in place not only in Russia but, potentially, in other countries such as Morocco and Turkey.

Balakhnichev, the former ARAF President, denied the account but his denial was rejected by the ethics commission, chaired by Michael Beloff QC, as not credible. The World Anti-Doping has managed to discover that a similar case of attempted extortion in relation to a Turkish athlete was reported in which money was demanded in return for covering up suspicious blood values. A WADA spokesman said we were able to use this information as it relates to the suggestion of a similar system in Turkey and Morocco to discover a case of attempted extortion of a Turkish athlete for money in exchange for covering up a doping rule violation. The spokesman added this information was passed on by WADA to the Independent Commission for its investigation.

The athlete is believed to be Asli Cakir Alptekin, who won gold at London 2012 in the women’s 1500m but should have already been banned according to her blood profile. On 6 July 2012, Alptekin recorded her personal best in 1500m with 3:56.62 at the Diamond League meet in Paris and won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in the 1500 m event but she was soon stripped of her Olympic title as a result of her use of banned substances and methods. The Court of Arbitration for Sport reported on 17 August 2015 that it approved a settlement agreed to by Alptekin and the world governing body of athletics. Alptekin has agreed to give up her 1500 m Olympic title and serve an eight-year ban for blood doping. The athlete has forfeited all her results from 29 July 2010, including the 2012 Olympic gold and her 2012 European Championship title.

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Friday 12, Sep 2014

  Turkish Government Donation Shows Zero Tolerance Approach To Doping

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Turkish Government Donation Shows Zero Tolerance Approach To Doping

 A $250,000 (£153,000/€193,000) donation by the Turkish Government to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is proof of the strong “zero tolerance” policy regarding doping in the country, said Turkish Olympic Committee President Uğur Erdener.

Turkey’s move was praised by WADA President Sir Craig Reedie who remarked Turkey has firmly nailed its colours to the anti-doping mast by donating such a significant amount of money to innovative research. The WADA chief added this is a positive contribution to the clean sport movement, and sends the right message to clean athletes, right across the world and also remarked this signal sent by the Turkish Government is a further boost to Governments’ aim to match the IOC’s $10 million (£6 million/€8 million).

     Sir Reedie also said research is crucial to all that the anti-doping community does, and his personal thanks go to Akif Çağatay Kılıç, the Minister of Youth and Sports of Turkey, and to Professor Dr Uğur Erdener, for their country’s commitment. Reedie also said he looks forward to further engaging Governments over the coming weeks so that we can continue to advance the anti-doping cause.

In the recent years, Turkey has been struggling to win the fight against doping with 31 of its athletes receiving suspensions by the Turkish Athletics Federation in the summer of 2013 alone. Country’s top athletes including Asli Cakir Alptekin and Nevin Yanit were suspended for doping violations though Alptekin was later cleared. Abnormal blood values were found in the biological profile of the athlete. One of Turkey’s most decorated athletes, Alptekin was later cleared of doping violations by the Turkish Athletics Federation.

International Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack had remarked that Turkey needs to “clean their house”, while the issue an issue in defeat of Istanbul to Tokyo in the race to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Erdener, also the President of World Archery, now says the announcement underlines the huge progress that has been made. He remarked his Minister immediately arranged an important money transfer, directly to WADA, showing our strong support for a zero tolerance policy and added now the National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Youth and Sport has a strong zero-tolerance policy in Turkey. Speaking ahead of the final day of the Archery World Cup Finals here on the shores of Lake Geneva, Erdener said we as a result of this have had very strong improvements in our anti-doping policies, particularly in the last two years, and now we have very limited cases in Turkey. Erdener went on to add that our Government immediately contributed important money for the new anti-doping fund, for supporting anti-doping projects, and this is a further important signal.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach called on international governments last December to match the pledge of IOC to invest $10 million (£6 million/€8 million) to fund innovative, athlete-centered anti-doping research, including new techniques to detect banned substances.

Recently, China announced a contribution of $1 million (£610,000/€770,000) while it was indicated by the United States that it will make $6 million (£3.5 million/€4.5 million) available over the next three years, via the Partnership for Clean Competition.

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Thursday 26, Dec 2013

  Track Champion Alptekin Cleared After Doping Probe

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Track Champion Alptekin Cleared After Doping Probe

Olympic champion Asli Cakir Alptekin has been cleared of doping violations by the Turkish Athletics Federation following an investigation. It was announced by the federations that it didn’t found any violation of doping rules by last year’s 1,500-meter gold medalist.

A statement from the disciplinary commission on the Turkish federation’s website revealed that it has been decided that there is no grounds for national sporting sanctions against Asli Cakir Alptekin as she did not violate any anti-doping rules and the disciplinary measures imposed on the athlete have been lifted.

The IAAF made a request for the probe early this year after abnormal blood values in Alptekin’s biological profile were found. The IAAF can now appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It said the IAAF will review the decision upon receipt and decide whether or not it should be appealed to CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) as per IAAF rules.

Alptekin won the gold medal in the 1500 m at the 2011 Summer Universiade and then won the bronze medal in the 1500 m event at the 2012 World Indoor Championships held in Istanbul. The Turkish female middle distance runner is coached by her husband, runner Ihsan Alptekin. She was banned in 2004 for two years.

One of Turkey’s most decorated athletes, Alptekin was facing a life ban and it was previously confirmed by the IAAF that Alptekin will be stripped of her Olympic title, with compatriot Gamze Bulut being upgraded to the gold if the Turkish athlete was found guilty. Suspicions about the athletes were raised a few weeks before the London Games when Alptekin won a 1500m race at the Paris Diamond League meeting in a barely credible time of 3min 56.62sec. British athlete Lisa Dobriskey minutes after the Olympic final said she will probably get into trouble for saying this but she doesn’t think she is playing on a level playing field. Dobriskey said it was horrible to see that athlete do a lap of honor and prance around with her country’s flag and she hadn’t planned to speak out but she was asked how she felt about a former drugs cheat winning Olympic gold.

Her compatriot and European 110m hurdles champion Nevin Yanit was not as lucky and was given a ban of two years in August this year. The Turkish female sprinter specializing in high hurdling and is a two time European champion in the 100m hurdles, and current European indoor champion in the 60m hurdles. The two-time European 100 meters hurdles champion tested positive for a banned substance during a meeting in Dusseldorf on February 8 this year. In July, the IAAF remarked it is aware of media speculation surrounding the recent anti-doping control tests, in and out of competition, of a number of Turkish athletes. It added the IAAF with the national anti-doping agency following concerns highlighted by abnormal biological passport values intensified the testing program in Turkey, the results of which remain ongoing in accordance with IAAF Rules.

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