Steroids Positive Costs Turkish Women’s Olympic Gold Medalist a Lifetime Ban

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Turkish weightlifter Nurcan Taylan tested positive for anabolic steroids during anti-doping protocols in October 2011. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) tested national weightlifters in Turkey during this time. The Olympic, World and European weightlifting champion disputed the results of this sample and requested analysis of a second sample.

The second sample (sample B) was analyzed at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Cologne (Germany). The results confirmed the presence of anabolic steroids in the sample for an analytical positive.

The diminutive 106 pound woman stands at only five feet tall but her accomplishments have made her a celebrity in Turkey.

Taylan became the first woman from Turkey to win an Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She set two world records and five Olympic records in the women’s weightlifting 48 kilogam class.  This includes the current women’s world record in the snatch of  97.5 kilograms (215 pounds). Last year at the World Championships in Antalya (Turkey), Taylan set a world record in the clean and jerk of 121 kilograms (266 pounds).

The weightlifting prodigy was discovered at the age of eleven by coach Mehmet Üstündağ at the Mamak Secondary School in Ankara. Üstündağ has coached her ever since.

Unfortunately, the failed steroid test will result in a lifetime ban under the rules of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). This means that Taylan will miss the opportunity to represent Turkey in the 2012 London Olympics.

Taylan is the second Turkish national female athletic hero that has been permanently banned from the sport after testing positive for anabolic steroids.

Süreyya Ayhan Kop, a 1500 meter specialist, became the first Turkish woman to reach an Olympic semi-finals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She was also the firs to reach a World Championships final in 2001.

Ayhan was banned for two years from competition after her husband and trainer obstructed anti-doping testers from collecting a urine sample from her at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She was banned permanently after she tested positive for Dianabol and Winstrol metabolites in November 2007.

Nurcan Taylan


Today’s Zaman. (December 28, 2011). Olympic gold medalist Taylan fails doping test. Retrieved from