Australia will have a new Olympic gold medallist from the London Olympics. Three-and-a-half years after being beaten over the line by a Russian drug cheat, race walker Jared Tallent will now be assured of his Olympic gold medal.
Australian wins gold medal from 2012
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.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled that Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin's win in the London Olympics 50km walk must be wiped after he tested positive to a banned substance. The CAS ruled that all of Kirdyapkin's results from August 20, 2009, to October 15, 2012, should be wiped, meaning Tallent was the first legal athlete to cross the line and must rightly now be awarded the gold.
It is now a matter for the IAAF to retrospectively award the gold medal.
Tallent was celebrating the ruling, the culmination of years of campaigning by him and Athletics Australia.
"History has been rewritten tonight. I am the Olympic champion and justice has been served. I'm very excited to see the result amended and thank all those who have supported me across this journey," Tallent said.
"For me, this outcome allows me to celebrate a moment that every athlete dreams of and I look forward to sharing the experience with my family, including wife Claire, my Mum, Dad and siblings."
Former Athletics Australia president David Grace led the campaign for Tallent who was the victim of an appalling sporting injustice not only in that Kirdyapkin tested positive to banned substances but that he had done so twice and was bizarrely banned for the period before and after the London Olympics but not for the Olympics.
"Athletics Australia has always been of the opinion that Jared Tallent is the rightful gold medallist in the men's 50km race walk at London 2012. The decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport today vindicates that position," Athletics Australia chief executive Phil Jones said.
"We will now take immediate action through the IAAF to ensure that the result is amended. Jared deserves to be recognised as the Olympic champion for his exemplary performance four years ago.
"Athletics Australia is proud of the way Jared has carried himself throughout this difficult period. We look forward to watching him compete at Rio 2016."
Tallent is a three-time Olympic medallist but this will be his first Olympic gold.
Kirdyapkin was one of six Russian athletes the CAS ruled should be retrospectively disqualified for drug use.
"The CAS is unable to comment on the corrections in the various rankings which may be affected by the present decision and the possible re-allocation of medals, titles, awards or prizes, as this is a matter for IAAF to determine," the court statement said.
Jones urged the IAAF to do everything they could to ensure the Rio games were clean.
"We reiterate our absolute stance against doping in sport and urge the IAAF to take all actions necessary to deliver a level playing field for all athletes," he said.