Sureyya Ayhan fails doping test, faces lifetime ban

Updated: November 17, 2007, 8:18 AM ET
Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey -- Former European 1,500-meter champion Sureyya Ayhan has tested positive for doping and faces a lifetime ban.

Ayhan tested positive in the United States in September during training for next year's Beijing Olympics, according to a report Saturday by Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency that did not identify the banned substance.

Ayhan has denied doping, and her husband and coach, Yucel Kop, questioned the result, but a second test in Canada confirmed the initial finding.

Ayhan was suspended for two years for breaking drug-testing rules in 2004 before the Athens Olympics.

"Sureyya Ayhan's failure of the doping test is neither good for herself nor for Turkey," said State Minister Murat Basesgioglu, who is in charge of sports.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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