Strips Bolt’s relay team of Olympic gold
BY MONICA IHEAKAM
Fortune has smiled on Africa’s queen of the tracks Blessing Okagbare, as she is set to be awarded the silver medal in the women’s long jump event of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games .
This was confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday after Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva tested positive to banned drugs.
Okagbare, it would be recalled, won bronze for Nigeria in the event .
According to the IOC website, 40-year -old Lebedeva, was disqualified from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games following an intelligence-gathering process that started in August 2015 to curb drug cheats.
Lebedeva, who also won silver in the women’s triple jump event in Beijing Olympics, was found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to the IOC Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing in 2008.
The IOC has also requested the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to modify the results of the above-mentioned events accordingly and to consider any further action within its own competence.
Okagbare will now get the silver medal, Jamaica’s Chelsea Hammond move up from fourth position to third, while Brazil’s Maurren Maggi keeps her gold medal.
Meanwhile, Usain Bolt will have to hand back one of his nine Olympic gold medals after Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance.
Carter was part of the Jamaican quartet that won the 4x100m in Beijing in 2008.
His was one of 454 selected doping samples retested by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last year, and has been found to contain the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine.
Bolt, 30, completed an unprecedented ‘triple triple’ in Rio last summer.
He won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay to add to his successes in the same events in 2008 and 2012. Carter, 31, was also part of the squad that won the event in London five years ago and helped Jamaica win at the World Championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015. He ran the first leg for Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team in Beijing, which also included Michael Frater, Asafa Powell and Bolt.
The team won in a then world record of 37.10 seconds, ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and Japan, who will now have their medals upgraded. Brazil will receive bronze.
Carter was tested on the evening of the Beijing final in 2008 but what was found at the time to contain no “adverse analytical finding”.
More than 4,500 tests were carried out at those Games, but just nine athletes were caught cheating.