Silver lining: Australian walker Jared Tallent (left) might eventually be awarded the 2012 London Olympics gold medal that went to Russian drug cheat Sergey Kirdyapkin (centre). Photo: Supplied
Race walking might not be "sexy" but celebrity agent Max Markson says silver medallist Jared Tallent has potentially missed out on hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of losing Olympic gold to Russian drug cheat Sergey Kirdyapkin.
Cycling track queen Anna Meares says winning gold lifted her profile and Markson encourages Tallent to "make a big fuss" if he gets a retrospective medal so he can "make hay while the sun shines".
Tallent finished second to Kirdyapkin in the 50-kilometre walk at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The Russian had been banned as a drug cheat in the lead up to those Games and following them, but bizarrely deemed clean when he won gold.
It's expected Tallent will eventually be awarded the gold, especially after the World Anti-Doping Agency's report into doping in Russian athletics was released on Tuesday.
But he's been missing out on potential sponsorship money that comes with being an Olympic gold medallist since London.
Markson said it wouldn't be a massive pot of gold because race walking wasn't a "blue-ribbon sport" like the 100-metre sprint, but he'd missed out on a pot nonetheless.
He said Tallent had proved himself as a consistent performer on the world stage and was marketable as a result.
As it stands, Tallent has won two Olympic silvers and a bronze, plus a world championship silver and two bronze, and a Commonwealth Games gold and bronze as well.
"Sponsorship is a hard, hard game for the lesser track-and-field disciplines. I'm sure Sally Pearson has got great profile for her discipline, it's better for her, but for walking it's just a hard game. It's not sexy," Markson told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.
"Would he have picked up another $100,000 in sponsorship - maybe - but would he have picked up $1 million? No. Would he have picked up half a million? No."
Meares said it was a positive that Tallent could potentially be rewarded for doing "the right thing".
"For me and my experiences in terms of stepping on top of the podium and getting that gold medal, your profile is lifted, the interest is lifted and people are aware of you as a result of that platform," she said.
"I hope for Jared that will still be the case, even in a different scenario."
Markson said if Tallent does get a retrospective gold then he should "light it up baby" to ensure he gets as much exposure as he can in the lead up to next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, when he could potentially be walking for back-to-back gold.
"If they do give him the gold medal, he and his management should make a big fuss of it," he said.
"They should see if they can get the Prime Minister to present it to him, or [International Association of Athletics Federations president] Seb Coe to come over and present it.
"Make it a fuss so it can become something he can generate and use as a springboard to generate greater exposure for him and his sport, and from there hopefully increased sponsorship will come.
"Make hay while the sun shines and if that sun shines again, light it up baby."