Rio 2016 Olympics might have been disappointing for the Indian contingent, but Yogeshwar Dutt had something to lift up his spirits. Dutt’s bronze medal, which he won at the 2012 London Games, is set to be upgraded to silver. The unexpected upgrade has been triggered by a positive dope test of the silver winner in the 60-kg freestyle event in London – Russia’s Besik Kudukhov.
In the case of medal upgrades, the process takes time. When instances of Olympic doping cases pop up, any medal in his or her name is usually asked to return and is awarded to the next finisher in the line. To set the record books straight, the process might take years. Before the Sydney 2000 Olympics, most of the violations were caught during or just after the Games. But IOC’s re-testing of samples has demanded more time in reassigning the medals.
While we wait for the official confirmation on the elevation of Yogeshwar’s bronze medal to silver, here are some other instances where athletes have upgraded their medals.
Anju Bobby George: The case related to Anju Bobby George might not be related to an Olympic event, but it will remain one of the sole cases where the Indian athlete got her medal upgraded. The long jumper hugely benefitted from Russian Tatyana Kotova’s disqualification at the IAAF World Athletics final in Monte Carlo in 2005 and went to receive Gold after leaping to 6.75m at the event. Earlier, she had secured silver for her performance.
Trinidad and Tobago 4x100m relay team: US sprinter Tyson Gay’s drug test failures helped the Trinidad and Tobago relay team to move to the second place and receive silver at the London 2012 olympics.
Lance Armstrong: The Tour de France champion confessed to using performance enhancing drugs and was later stripped of Bronze which he won in the men’s time trial event of road cycling in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. The Bronze medal didn’t go to anyone.
Pauline Davis-Thompson: The sprinter from the Bahamas upgraded her Silver medal to Gold in the women’s 200m sprint event at the Sydney 2000 Olympics after American sprinter Marion Jones confessed to using drugs at the Sydney Summer Games.
Carl Lewis: American Carl Lewis received gold after Canada’s Ben Johnson tested positive for stanozolol steroid just three days after his record setting sprint in the Seoul 1988 Olympics.