ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The head of Turkey's weightlifting federation and his entire board resigned Friday after five Turkish lifters failed doping tests at the European under-23 championships in Israel last month.
Hasan Akkus, who is also a vice president of the International Weightlifting Federation, and a dozen other officials announced their resignations following the latest in a string of doping scandals that have tarnished Turkish weightlifting.
"This incident was too much for us," Akkus told reporters. "We said, 'If there is doping we are out' and the entire executive decided to resign." Akkus would not name the weightlifters who tested positive but said none had won medals.
"As a federation that devoted most of its time struggling against doping, the situation shocked us, and most important of all, we were heartbroken," Akkus said. The federation will elect a new board in March, Akkus said, adding that he had no intention to run again.
Last year, Olympic and world champion Nurcan Taylan was banned for four years for doping and missed the London Olympics. Two other Turkish lifters were dropped from the Olympic squad a day before the games for using banned substances.
The latest scandal comes as Istanbul is bidding to host the 2020 Olympics.