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The Turkish Doping Control Center at the Hacettepe University declined to comment on the case Thursday. But the HaberTurk newspaper quoted Ugur Erdener, dean of the university, as admitting the lab made a mistake.

“There are two evaluations to analyze the test results and the average of them is taken. The (lab) officials’ evaluation was based on one data. However, the average should have been taken as the base,” Erdener was quoted as saying.

Fenerbahce President Aziz Yildirim met Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the case Thursday. No statement was made after the meeting but Ali Koc, a club official, denied reports that Fenerbahce asked authorities to shut down the doping lab.

Turgay Demirel, president of the Turkish Basketball Federation, said two soccer players were also cleared of doping after the lab retracted its reports about them.

“It is very sad for our country that an institution accredited to WADA committed such a huge mistake,” he said. “Both Turkey, Turkish sports and Turkish basketball could pay a fairly high price for this. Sportsmen and federations or clubs in their countries and even us could file compensation suits against this institution.”

Demirel said about 3,500 doping tests have been carried out annually in Turkey, with most analyzed by the Ankara lab.

“From now on, I don’t think the certificate of Hacettepe University can remain valid,” Demirel said. “But we will have to use centers in Lisbon, Cologne or maybe Athens.”


Associated Press writer Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara contributed to this report.