Team GB could see an increase in medals won at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games following further sanctions from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for athletes failing retrospective anti-doping tests.
Heptathlete Kelly Sotherton is the latest British Olympian to be affected after re-analysis of stored samples from Beijing 2008 found bronze medallist Tatiana Chernova of Russia to have committed an anti-doping rule violation - resulting in disqualification by the IOC.
Sotherton could become a three-time Olympic medallist should the bronze be reallocated along with a medal in the 4x400m relay, with the Team GB quartet also potential bronze medallists. Previous retesting analysis resulted in the disqualification of both the Russian and Belarussian quartets from the Games.
Javelin thrower Goldie Sayers and the men’s 4x400m relay squad complete the group of nine British athletes waiting on news of reallocation of medals from Beijing 2008 after further disqualifications were announced by the IOC in September 2016.
The IOC has been retesting stored doping samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 using the latest technology as part of their fight against anti-doping violations.
The process of reallocation begins with the sanctioning of athletes following the retesting of samples from the Olympic Games. Those disqualified athletes then have a right to appeal, with all four cases involving British athletes currently at this stage.
If a disqualified athlete’s appeal is unsuccessful, the IOC is only then able to officially reallocate the medals and will do so informing the British Olympic Association.
Bill Sweeney, CEO of the BOA said: “The news of the potential reallocation of four medals involving Team GB athletes at Beijing 2008 medals is bittersweet for all involved in British Olympic sport. While we are buoyed by the news that British Olympians are a step closer to being awarded the medals their talents and efforts deserve, it’s a great shame their moment on the podium almost nine years ago has been taken away from them.
“We must now wait alongside our athletes and colleagues at UK Athletics for news from the ongoing appeal processes and hope justice can be delivered. If medals are reallocated, the British Olympic Association will endeavour to find a fitting way to commemorate the athletes, their coaches and the medal success they achieved together.”