Britain’s Kelly Sotherton in line to be upgraded to receive the heptathlon medal following Chernova’s sanction

Britain’s Kelly Sotherton is set to be upgraded to Beijing 2008 Olympic heptathlon bronze following the disqualification of Russia’s Tatyana Chernova (pictured above) from the event.

On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that reanalysis of Chernova’s samples from the Beijing 2008 Games had resulted in a positive test for the banned substance turinabol.

As a result, she is disqualified from the event and is set to be stripped of the Olympic heptathlon bronze medal that she claimed behind Ukraine’s Nataliya Dobrynska and USA’s Hyleas Fountain in China.

Finishing fifth in that competition had been Sotherton (pictured below), who had claimed heptathlon bronze in Athens four years before. She had already been promoted by one position after the disqualification of Ukraine’s Lyudmila Blonska.


The 40-year-old is now set to become a three-time Olympic bronze medallist, as she is also due to be upgraded to a 4x400m medal from the Beijing Games following the retrospective disqualifications of the Russian and Belarusian teams.

“Re-analysis of Chernova’s samples from Beijing 2008 resulted in a positive test for the prohibited substance dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (turinabol),” read an IOC statement in part.

“The Russian Olympic Committee shall notably secure the return to the IOC, as soon as possible, of the bronze medal, the medallist pin and the diploma awarded in connection with the women’s heptathlon event to the Athlete.

“This decision enters into force immediately.”

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Sotherton wrote: “So I’ve just this second found out I’m THREE TIMES OLYMPIC MEDALIST.”

Together with other retrospective disqualifications announced since the Games, the GB team would have won eight medals at Beijing 2008 – double what was actually claimed at the time, which missed the team’s target of five medals.

Dave Collins, who was UK Athletics performance director at the time, spoke with AW last year following the news that GB stood to receive three more medals in athletics from the 2008 Games.

“The first thing it makes me feel is really pleased for the athletes, coaches and support staff,” Collins told AW last December. “It was a good performance. We thought going in there we were going to do well, and it’s nice to see them get the recognition.”

Chernova has already been stripped of the world title she won ahead of Jessica Ennis-Hill in 2011 and the Olympic bronze medal she claimed at London 2012.

On Monday, the IOC also announced that sprinter Maksim Dyldin has been disqualified from the London 2012 Olympic Games after reanalysis of his samples from the event also resulted in a positive test for turinabol.

Dyldin formed part of the Russian 4x400m relay team which finished fifth at London 2012 and as a result the team has been disqualified.