Sixteen members of Turkey’s under-23 weightlifting team tested positive for banned substances, the sport’s national governing body announced yesterday, in the second doping scandal in a month.
Zeki Türkeş, the chairman of the Turkish Weightlifting Federation (THF), announced that 16 athletes tested positive for banned stanozolol. The announcement came weeks after five members of the squad tested positive, which caused former THF chairman Hasan Akkuş to resign.
Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç said the scandal left 21 young athletes facing possible doping bans.
“All the members of a team testing positive for the same substance; it looks quite dubious to me,” Kılıç told Anatolia news agency yesterday. “I am waiting for an explanation from the Weightlifting Federation.”
Akkuş said the situation was “sad” and should be probed well.
“I talked to some of the athletes and they told me that they did not dope, but it could be a conspiracy,” the former chairman said. “Even if it is a conspiracy, it looks like there is a loophole in the system, which needs to be found.”