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Jared Tallent says Russian athletes competing at the Rio Olympics would be a 'disgrace'

Australia's newest gold medallist Jared Tallent says it would be a "disgrace" if the Russian race walker who robbed him of one gold medal gets the chance to race him for another and the International Association of Athletics Federation would be "absolutely weak" to allow it to happen.

And as a silver lining, Tallent is hoping his wife Claire will see his gold-medal ceremony for the 2012 Olympic 50-kilometre walk - a ceremony he wants to have in Australia so friends and family can share the moment.

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Race walker Jared Tallent is to be awarded an Olympic gold medal from the London Olympics after Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin is found to have used a banned substance.

On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport stripped Russian race walker Sergey Kirdyapkin of his gold from three-and-a-half years ago because of anomalies in his blood readings, opening the way for Tallent's silver to become gold.

The IOC has to ratify the decision, which cannot happen until they next meet in June, and then retrieve the gold medal from Kirdyapkin before a date can be set for Tallent's presentation.

Given Tallent will be away from June until the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August, he wasn't expecting to receive his gold medal until after this year's Games.

Tallent could find himself racing Kirdyapkin for another gold medal in Rio.


The IAAF provisionally suspended the Russian athletics federation from competing in November, but is yet to make a final decision on whether they can compete at this year's Olympics.

Tallent said Kirdyapkin was back training with some of the coaches mentioned in the World Anti-Doping Agency's investigation into Russian doping.

Tallent said his impending gold showed "things were getting better for clean athletes".

The 31-year-old has been a vocal campaigner against the Russian race walkers for a long time and said he "always suspected" he was competing against a drug cheat.

"[The Russians are] banned at the minute, but they could be re-instated for the Olympics in time. I think that would be a disgrace," Tallent said on Friday.

"There's no way that they can change enough in the short amount of time that's left. I can already see that not much has changed.

"There's still massive problems in Russia and if the IAAF or the IOC let the athletics team back in they are absolutely weak and not doing what's required for clean racing."

When Tallent was presented with his silver medal in London, his wife Claire was back in the athletes' village resting and didn't get to see him receive it.

The bonus for Tallent is when he receives his upgraded medal, she will be there.

Fellow Canberran Michael Rogers had a similar experience when he received his Olympic bronze last year - 11 years after he was meant to win it at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Rogers revealed to Fairfax Media it had been a "special moment" because his wife and children had been present, whereas he wasn't even married when he originally competed.

Tallent said his phone had gone into "meltdown" following the news, which made him "realise how big winning an Olympic gold medal is".

"The Easter Bunny had brought me a gold medal, so that's pretty cool ... I hope for a special occasion where I can have lots of friends and family," he said.

"Claire was competing in London and because we were both racing on the same day she was back in the village because she didn't want to be at the course all day so she missed my medal ceremony in London.

"It's pretty special that now she'll get to [be there]. Of course I would've loved to have [won] it on the day and to have crossed the line first, you miss out on all of that, but at least Claire will be there this time."