No further suspension cut for whistleblowing Turkish athlete
ISTANBULThe World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has turned down an application by Turkish runner Aslı Çakır Alptekin, a doping whistleblower who was suspended for four years, ending her hopes for a further reduction in her sentence and a chance to participate in the Rio Olympics.
WADA once again confirmed that Alptekin will only be permitted to begin competing in official events starting on Jan. 10, 2017, stating that her four-year ban would not be eased.
In January 2013, the IAAF charged the athlete with an anti-doping violation on the basis of her biological passport. She was cleared by the Turkish Athletic Federation’s (TAF) disciplinary board but that decision was later challenged by the IAAF, which took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The CAS decided to strip her of the gold medals she won at the London Olympics and 2012 European Championships for doping while suspending her from competition for eight years. She had also been asked to return her medals, scores, points and monetary rewards she had gained since 2010.
Alptekin was encouraged to bribe two sons of former International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack to whitewash her positive doping test in late 2012, according to a second report by WADA’s independent commission that was released on Jan. 14 this year and presented many other serious accusations about the sports’ former boss.
“Papa Massata Diack [PMD] and Khalil Diack [KD] breached the IAAF disciplinary code in approaching Alptekin to extort money. They also committed fraud by representing themselves as being able to cover up an ABP [Athlete Biological Passport] rule violation,” the report read.
The athlete and her husband and coach, İhsan Alptekin, requested a meeting with the two Diack brothers. Two representatives from her sports club, Istanbul’s Üsküdar Belediyespor, met with Papa Massat Diack in Monaco between Nov. 13 and 17, 2012, the report said.
“At the meeting PMD initially asked for 650,000 euros but by the end of the day had reduced the amount to 350,000 euros. Alptekin’s representatives said they could not pay and left the meeting,” it said.
Later, the CAS cut Alptekin’s suspension to four years, citing that she “provided precious information.”
This was followed by a cut by the Turkish federation, which said she could start racing as of July 5. However, she failed in an Olympic elimination 1,500-meter race that was especially organized for her.