More Olympic distance-running medalists banned for doping

Gamze Bulut
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MONACO (AP) — Turkish runners Elvan Abeylegesse and Gamze Bulut were banned for doping Wednesday and stand to lose their Olympic silver medals.

Abeylegesse tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol in a retest of a sample she gave at the 2007 World Championships. She was banned for two years by the IAAF and had her results wiped out from 2007-09.

Abeylegesse won Olympic silver medals in the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2008 Beijing Games and silver in the 10,000m at the 2007 World Championships.

American Shalane Flanagan stands to get the silver medal in the 10,000m, with third for Linet Chepkwemoi Masai of Kenya. In the 5000m, Meseret Defar of Ethiopia would get silver and Sylvia Kibet of Kenya would get bronze.

American Kara Goucher stands to upgrade from bronze to silver in the 2007 Worlds 10,000m.

The IAAF also said it had imposed a four-year ban on Bulut for a violation of its biological passport program.

Bulut’s results from July 2011 have been wiped out, which will cost her the silver medal in the 1500m at the 2012 London Olympics. In that race, Bulut finished behind Turkish runner Asli Cakir Alptekin, who has also since been banned.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain stands to inherit gold, with silver for Tatyana Tomashova of Russia, who has previously served a ban for giving someone else’s urine in a doping test. Bronze would go to Abeba Aregawi, who represented Ethiopia in 2012 but now races for Sweden.

Bulut has also been disqualified from the 2012 European Championships, when she originally finished second behind Alptekin in the 1500m. Spanish runner Nuria Fernandez, originally fifth, is now the highest-placed athlete who has not been disqualified from that race for doping violations.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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