Goucher, Flanagan Likely To Get Medal Upgrades
Elvan Abeylegesse, silver medalist in the 10,000m at the 2007 world championships, has a tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The Turkish track and field federation announced on Thursday it received word from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that Elvan Abeylegesse, who won silver in the 10,000m at the 2007 world championships in Osaka and was slated to compete at the upcoming world championships in Beijing until she pulled out earlier this week citing injury, tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a reanalysis of samples from the 2005 and 2007 world championships. An IAAF report earlier this week said that a retesting of samples from those championships confirmed 28 athletes with 32 adverse findings.
As of Thursday, no other athletes had been named due to legal reasons, but the IAAF report said that, “A large majority of the 28 are retired, some are athletes who have already been sanctioned, and only very few remain active in sport. The IAAF is provisionally suspending them and can confirm that none of the athletes concerned will be competing in Beijing.”
A likely result of Abeylegesse’s failed test is that 2007 10,000m world championships bronze medalist Kara Goucher of the United States will be upgraded to silver. Great Britain’s Jo Pavey, who finished fourth, would be awarded bronze.
“Thank you to the scientists who continually develop tests to catch cheats,” Goucher wrote on her Instagram account late Thursday morning, “because yesterday I learned that 2nd place finisher Elvan Abeylegesse failed a retroactive test of her sample from Osaka. While I will never have the pleasure of that moment back or to stand higher on the podium, I am grateful for those who work tirelessly to clean up our sport. 8 years later, justice is served.”
The 32-year-old Abeylegesse—who was born in Ethiopia—has reportedly requested her “B” sample be retested, according to Sports Illustrated. If the “B” sample also tests positive, Abeylegesse’s results from 2007-2009—including her silver medal performances in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the 2008 Olympic in Beijing—will be annulled, meaning that American Shalane Flanagan, who took bronze in the 10,000m at the Beijing Games, would be named the silver medalist.