Turkey’s Elvan Abeylegesse stripped of Olympic medals

Turkish runner Elvan Abeylegesse on 29 March 2017 was stripped of two Olympic silver medals and one world silver. The decision was taken after a re-analysis of an in-competition doping test dating back to 2007. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in a statement stated that Abeylegesse’s “results from August 25, 2007, to August 25, 2009, have been removed, with the 34-year-old retrospectively banned from September 29, 2015, to September 28, 2017.”

Abeylegesse tested positive on 25 August 2007 after winning silver at the 2007 World Athletics Championships in Osaka. It also signifies that she is set to be stripped not only of that world silver but also the 5000m and 10000m silver medals she won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The runner reportedly tested positive for stanozolol, a steroid.

Elvan Abeylegesse is an Ethiopian-born Turkish middle and long-distance running athlete. She competes over distances from 1500 metres up to the marathon, and also in cross country. She is the former world record-holder for the 5000 metres.

In August 2015, the Turkish Athletics Federation confirmed that an anti-doping test taken during the 2007 World Championships in Athletics had been retested and found to be positive for a controlled substance. Following the result, she was temporarily suspended pending retesting of her ‘B-sample’.

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