Athletics

SA-born athlete in doping row

2012-09-19 09:03
Karin Mey Melis (Gallo)
Paris - Turkish long jumper Karin Mey Melis was withdrawn from the London Olympic final after authorities learned of an earlier positive doping test, the IAAF said Tuesday.

Mey Melis now faces a disciplinary case and possible two-year ban after details of her case emerged almost six weeks after the Aug. 8 final.

IAAF spokesperson Yannis Nikolaou said that the world body received confirmation after Mey Melis advanced from the qualifying round at the Olympics that she had failed a test at the European Championships a few weeks earlier.

“We were notified after the qualification,” Nikolaou said by telephone from the governing body’s headquarters in Monaco. “It was only at that moment we received information.”  The International Association of Athletics Federations, which did not identify the substance involved, has asked the Turkish federation to hold a disciplinary case. Mey Melis has been provisionally suspended pending the hearing, the IAAF said.

Turkish media reported that 29-year-old Mey Melis tested positive for testosterone at the Europeans in late June in Helsinki, where she placed fifth. The reports said analysis of her urine sample was completed by the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The South Africa-born athlete claimed she was injured after missing the Olympic final. She is listed on official results as DNS, or “Did Not Start.” She could now face disqualification and having her name struck from the London records by the International Olympic Committee.

Mey Melis jumped 6.80 meters in qualifying, a distance which would have been good enough for fifth place in the final. The gold medal was won by Brittney Reese of the United States with a leap of 7.12 meters.

Mey Melis won a bronze medal at the 2009 world championships in Berlin. In London, she was representing Turkey at her second consecutive Summer Games after transferring her national eligibility from South Africa.

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