Thursday March 31st, 2016

The Turkish Athletics Federation has banned distance runner Elvan Abeylegesse for two years for doping, according to the Agence France Presse. 

The disciplinary board for the national body agreed to ban Abeylesgessse for taking a performance-enhancing drug at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan. She finished second in the women's 10,000 meters to claim the silver medal. Kara Goucher of the United States took bronze while Jo Pavey of Great Britain was left out of the medals with a fourth place finish. 

One year later, Abeylegesse won silver medals in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In the 10,000 meters, she finished ahead of American Shalane Flanagan, who ran the American record of 30:22.22 for bronze.

Abeylegesse had been suspended after news of several re-tested samples from the 2005 and 2007 world championships showed elite athletes using banned substances. She reportedly tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol.

U.S. runners Goucher, Flanagan may retroactively receive silver medals

She has denied taking any banned substance and is in a lawsuit against the International Association of Athletics Federation over the handling of her drug tests and saying a technical error took place.

Her agent says the decision to suspend Abeylegesse was “entirely due to ignorance” with the court case pending.

Turkey's Asli Cakir Alptekin was banned for eight years for blood doping and was stripped of her gold medal from the 2012 Olympics in the women's 1,500 meters.

- Christopher Chavez

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