Sports minister says doping scandals will have ‘positive effect’ on Turkey's 2020 candidacy
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The recent doping scandals in Turkey will not have any negative impact on Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç said Aug.28. AA photo
The recent doping scandals in Turkey will not have any negative impact on Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç said Aug.28, hours after news broke out of another Turkish athlete, Nevin Yanıt, testing positive in a doping test.
Kılıç said the recent scandals would have “a positive impact” since Turkish authorities were showing the world that they would not “sweep this under the rug.”
“We removed the rug instead. We implemented whatever the rules were with the International Olympic Committee. We collected frequent and unannounced samples. We called for zero tolerance on doping cases. A country that so strongly attacks doping substances should not be punished. It should be awarded,” Kılıç said.
The minister added that doping substances, which he called “poison,” may bring short-term rewards, but also greatly damage an athlete’s body.
“The success that would come with doping better not come at all. It isn’t about getting caught or not. We do not want an athlete that has world medals but a damaged liver,” Kılıç said.
Kılıç also said Turkey was working to reduce the worth of awards given to athletes following national and international successes, which sometimes totaled over a million Turkish Liras for a gold medal.
Kılçı defined the 2020 candidacy as “a global move with power to transform,” while stating that Turkey had made over 5 million liras in sports investments in recent years.
“There are currently 776 sports facilities under construction in Turkey as part of official investments in 2013. This is a great move toward the facilitation of sports in Turkey and could be seen as a revolution unlike any other before it,” Kılıç said.
The new investments include 48 pools currently being built, as well as 256 football stadiums and 155 youth centers, according to Kılıç.
The Olympic race, set to end on Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires, sees Istanbul coming up against Madrid and Tokyo. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will also be attending the final meeting ahead of the big announcement.
Champion’s test positive
Meanwhile, the Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF) has banned two-time European 100m hurdles champion Nevin Yanıt from the sport for two years for doping.
“The IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] had informed us that Nevin Yanıt’s sample taken at the PSD Bank event in Dusseldorf on Feb. 8 tested positive for a banned substance,” the federation said yesterday in a written statement.
“After her B sample also tested positive, the Disciplinary Board asked for Yanıt’s defense and decided to ban the athlete for two years following deliberations,” the statement added.
Earlier this month, the board banned 31 Turkish athletes, including Olympic medalist Eşref Apak, from competitions for two years, a month after announcing that they had tested positive for banned substances. The decisions came a week after Mehmet Terzi stepped down as the TAF chairman amid the series of doping scandals.
Amid the doping scandals in athletics, all 16 oil wrestlers at the traditional Kırkpınar competition tested positive for steroids after their samples were sent to a doping research center in Cologne.
More than 30 Turkish athletes have failed drugs tests in the past year, including last year’s Olympic 1500-meter champion, Aslı Çakır Alptekin, who is still awaiting a final decision.