Svein Arne Hansen, the European Athletics president, confirmed two gold medals from the 2009 World Championships will be presented at Amsterdam 2016
European athletes cheated out of world titles will be retrospectively presented their medals at an official ceremony at the upcoming European Championships in Amsterdam.
The president of European Athletics, Svein Arne Hansen, confirmed that only gold medallists will be publicly awarded their titles and that so far two athletes from the 2009 World Championships in Berlin would be presented on July 6, the first day of the European Championships.
Russia’s Sergey Kirdyapkin and Olga Kaniskina, the 50km and 20km winners from Berlin, were both stripped of their world titles and handed bans for irregularities in their biological passports in January last year, meaning Norway’s Trond Nymark and Ireland’s Olive Loughnane will be presented with new medals at a medal ceremony wearing full national colours and with their respective national anthems played.
“It’s a very important signal,” Hansen told AW. “On the first day, on July 6 we are going to reallocate and present the gold medals. It’s too much to go down to all the medal winners because that would mean a lot of changes for us. But on the first night we will give all the gold medals from Berlin 2009.”
With retests of samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games currently being conducted by the International Olympic Committee there is a large possibility that any athletes caught will face further retrospective punishment and could be stripped of subsequent world and continental medals, but Hansen confirmed so far only Nymark and Loughnane would be presented in Amsterdam.
Athletes in Amsterdam will compete wearing bibs displaying the messages “I Run Clean”, “I Jump Clean”, “I Throw Clean” or “I Compete Clean”, continuing the initiative set at the European Cross Country Championships in December.
“If they aren’t doing that it will be very shameful if they are caught afterwards,” Hansen added. “I have no sympathy for the athletes who have been cheating.”