Gamze Bulut
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More Olympic distance-running medalists banned for doping

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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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Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned four years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)