Rowbury hits out at drug cheats


American middle-distance runner Shannon Rowbury has hit out at drug cheats for robbing her as well as her family and support group, amid reports another of the competitors from her Olympic 1500 metres final is under investigation for doping.

Rowbury finished sixth in the women's 1,500m final at the 2012 Games in London, but winner Asli Cakir Alptekin was stripped of the gold medal in 2015 and banned for eight years after her doping case was settled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Abeba Aregawi, fifth in the race, was provisionally suspended last week after testing positive for a banned substance, while seventh-placed Ekaterina Kostetskaya and ninth-placed Natallia Kareiva have also received bans.

Fourth-placed Tatyana Tomashova, meanwhile, served a two-year ban in 2008 for manipulating drug samples.

Reports on Sunday indicated Gamze Bulut, the silver medallist from the 2012 Olympic final, was now being investigated over alleged abnormal violations in her biological passport.

A statement from athletics' governing body, in the wake of the reports concerning Bulut, read: "The IAAF is not making any comment on doping matters under investigations or under result management procedure."

However, Rowbury responded to the latest developments by blasting the athletes who she feels stopped her from winning an Olympic medal.

"I woke up this morning to the unfortunate news that yet another competitor from my London Olympic final was caught for doping," Rowbury said in a YouTube video released by Unscriptd.

"I wanted to take a moment to thank my friends and family and the fans of the sport for their outpouring of support and encouragement.

"While I can't even begin to imagine why someone would dishonour themselves, their country and the sport by cheating, I can speak to my own experiences as a result of such bad behaviour.

"While those women were doing their victory lap in the London Olympic Stadium, I was crying through my cool down and then sobbing in the Olympic green, trying to gather enough self-control to face my family with a smile and tell them I was fine.

"These cheaters rob people like me and my competitors of medals but they also rob our family, our support group and our country.

"And, while I'm grateful to the IAAF for the work they're doing now to fix past errors and to clean up our sport, I would implore them to support their clean athletes.

"My competitors and I shouldn't be finding out this information through social media and news articles and I've yet to receive a single correspondence about the convictions in my event.

"Because I'm an optimist I want to end on a positive note, this news has left me feeling validated that my best is and can be enough."