By Duncan Mackay

Asli Cakir Alptekin with Olympic gold medalMay 3 - Turkey's Asli Çakır Alptekin faces being stripped of the Olympic gold medal she won in the 1500 metres at London 2012 after it was confirmed that she is being investigated by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for doping.

If found guilty, the 27-year-old Çakır Alptekin faces the propsect of being banned for life as it would be her second offence having already served a two-year suspension as a teenager between 2004 and 2006.

She has been charged by the IAAF, along with European 100m hurdles champion Nevin Yanit.

"The IAAF is now in a position to confirm that both Asli Cakir Alptekin and Nevin Yanit have been charged with anti-doping rule violations by the IAAF," Nick Davies, the IAAF's deputy general secretary, gold insidethegames.

"Ms Çakır on the basis of abnormal blood values from her biological passport.

"Ms Yanit on the basis of multiple positive findings following target tests carried out in-competition and out-of-competition by the IAAF.

"Both case have been referred to the Turkish Athletic Federation for adjudication as is usual under IAAF Rules and we await a decision from them.

"Until then, I can confirm that both athletes are now provisionally suspended and cannot compete.

"Again, as is usual under IAAF rules, we will make no further comment until the cases are concluded."

Asli Çakır Alptekin with Lisa Dobriskey London 2012Britain's Lisa Dobriskey was the among the first to question Asli Çakır Alptekin's victory at London 2012

Çakır Alptekin would be the second London 2012 champion to be stripped of their gold medal following positive test involving Belarusian shot putter Nadzeya Astapchuk, who tested positive for the anabolic steroid metenolone and the title was awarded to New Zealand's Valerie Adams.

Russian discus thrower Darya Pishchalnikova has also been stripped of the silver medal she won after a positive test for steroid oxandralone.

In cases involving biological passports, which monitor individual blood profiles for each athlete, there is not one positive test but a series of anomalies over a long period of time which trigger the IAAF to take action.

In Çakır Alptekin's case this included London 2012, where she was the surprise winner, leading to Britain's Lisa Dobriskey to accuse her of having used banned drugs having seen her improve by nearly six seconds over the course of last year.

"If she is convicted she would lose that medal," Davies confirmed. 

The bronze medal she won in the 1500m at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul last year could also be taken away.

But even if she is stripped of her medals then the Olympic title will remain in Turkey as her compatriot Gamze Bulut finished second in the race in London.

The 20-year-old had made a remarkable improvement herself by more than 17 seconds last year to emerge as a world-class runner.  

Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal would be promoted to the silver medal while Russia's Tatyana Tomashova, who herself was banned for two years in 2008 after being found guilty of manipulating a urine sample.

The news comes at a vital time in Istanbul's bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, where they are up against rivals Madrid and Tokyo. 

Asli Çakır Alptekin arena in IstanbulAn arena named after Asli Çakır Alptekin was among the proposed Istanbul 2020 venues visited by the IOC Evaluation Commission in March

One of the proposed arenas in the bid is named in honour of Çakır Alptekin.

But Professor Uğur Erdener, President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, promised that if she is found guilty then no mercy would be shown to Cakir Alptekin, who had previously tested positive at the World Junior Championships in 2004 as a teenage steeplechaser.

"The IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the Olympic family can be totally assured of Turkey's adherence and commitment to the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Code," he told insidethegames

"In its 2011 Compliance Report, WADA confirmed that Turkey is in compliance with the WADA Code,

"We fully support all authorities in this ongoing investigation.

"Doping is a major global issue: Turkey is ready to fulfil its responsibilities in helping to eradicate it from world sport.

"The Turkish NOC will continue to intensify our own efforts to root out cheats in Turkish sport.

"Any athlete found to have cheated will be punished to the full extent of Turkey's comprehensive and rigorously enforced anti-doping legislation, other laws and in accordance with international anti-doping practices.

"In my role as a member of the WADA Executive Committee, I am personally committed to leading the fight against doping from the front, in Turkey and around the world."