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Derval O’Rourke in line for medal upgrade as Yanit handed doping ban

Athletics Ireland contact European bosses to clarify the implications of Nevin Yanit’s two-year ban for Derval O’Rourke.

Yanit, left, beat O'Rourke and Nooralotta Neziri in the European Indoor 60m final in March.
Yanit, left, beat O'Rourke and Nooralotta Neziri in the European Indoor 60m final in March.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Updated 16.25

IRELAND’S DERVAL O’ROURKE is in line for a belated medal upgrade after European hurdles champion Nevin Yanit was banned for two years.

Yanit, the European 100m champion in 2010 and 2012, was suspended by the Turkish Athletics Federation after she tested positive for banned substances in February of this year.

The failed Dusseldorf test came less than a month before Yanit and O’Rourke met at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, where the Turkish athlete won the 60m title.

O’Rourke finished fourth in the final and only missed out on a podium place by an agonising one-hundredth of a second. Her time of 7.95 seconds was 0.01 slower than the time awarded to silver medallist Alina Talay and third-placed Veronica Borsi.

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The photo finish from the European Indoor 60m final, won by Yanit (photo via Sportresult)

Yanit has not yet been stripped of any competition results but following deliberations her ban was upheld by the Turkish authorities today.

“The IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] had informed us that Nevin Yanit’s sample taken at the event in Dusseldorf on 8 February tested positive for a banned substance,” TAF said in a statement.

“After her B sample also tested positive, the Disciplinary Board asked for Yanit’s defense and decided to ban the athlete for two years following deliberations.”

In May, IAAF spokesperson Nick Davies confirmed that Yanit and Olympic 1500m champion Asli Cakir Alptekin would be stripped of medals if convicted of doping offences.

In a statement of their own Athletics Ireland say they have contacted European Athletics to establish what procedures will now be followed.

“European Athletics has not yet received notification of the official sanction from the IAAF and cannot make an official comment until that occurs,” the statement read.

“Athletics Ireland will continue to communicate with European Athletics and the IAAF in order to establish the implications of this development for Derval O’Rourke and will urge the international federations to bring clarity to the situation as soon as possible.”

If Yanit’s results in Sweden are voided, it would be a fifth major competition medal for O’Rourke to go with her world indoor title in 2006, two European silver medals in 2006 and 2010, and bronze at the European indoors in 2009.

– Originally published 13.05; additional reporting by AFP

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