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Turkish hurdler Yanit handed doping suspension

Turkey's Nevin Yanit reacts after her women's 100m hurdles semi-final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 7,
Turkey's Nevin Yanit reacts after her women's 100m hurdles semi-final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 7,

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Double European 100m hurdles champion Nevin Yanit has been handed a two-year suspension for drugs violations by the Turkish Athletics Federation (TAF), the authority announced on Wednesday.

The decision comes just three weeks after the federation banned 31 athletes for doping offences and with a September 7 International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote looming on whether Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics.

In May, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said Yanit faced a ban following "multiple positive findings in both in-competition and out-of-competition tests".

The Turkish federation said it made its decision to ban the 27-year-old athlete at a disciplinary board meeting on Tuesday.

"Today's news demonstrates that the new, more aggressive anti-doping policies being implemented by our National Federations and the Turkish Anti-Doping Agency (TADA)...are rooting out drugs in Turkish sport," Turkey's Olympic chief Ugur Erdener said in a statement.

Erdener, an International Olympic Committee member and also one of the bid leaders for Istanbul's 2020 Olympic bid, said testing in Turkey would continue to be beefed up.

"While any evidence of cheating is a major disappointment for any country, the Turkish National Olympic Committee nevertheless welcomes the action taken by the Turkish Athletics Federation today," he said.

"The top-down approach is sending a clear message to cheats and would-be cheats in Turkey: you have nowhere left to hide."

Asli Cakir Alptekein, last year's women's 1,500 meters Olympic champion, who had already served a two-year doping ban, was provisionally suspended in May after abnormalities were detected in her "biological passport".

Turkey is not the only Olympic hopeful dealing with doping. Spain approved a new anti-doping law in June to bring it in line with international norms and dispel the impression the nation is soft on doping.

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