Goldie Sayers has revealed a “deep sense of injustice” as she announced the retirement she had been delaying in the hope of receiving her javelin bronze medal from the 2008 Olympics.
Sayers, 34, initially finished fourth at the Beijing Games, but retesting of anti-doping samples last year uncovered a doping violation for Russia's Mariya Abakumova – who had claimed silver – which saw the British athlete elevated to third.
Sayers discovered she was to be upgraded to the podium while driving on the motorway to meet her mother for a coffee at a Newmarket supermarket.
However, with Abakumova appealing the decision, the reallocation of medals is still to be confirmed a year after the news first broke.
“Initially I was just really happy,” said Sayers. “I'd been chasing something that had eluded me and then all of a sudden, driving down the M11, I had it.
“But actually now I'm much angrier about it – and I’m not an angry person at all. There's a deep sense of injustice.
“I was desperate to draw a line under my career and move on because I think endings are important – but at this rate I'll be drawing my pension before I get an Olympic medal.”
Recent retesting of samples has seen 111 athletes from a number of sports stripped of their results from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Kelly Sotherton was last month upgraded to heptathlon bronze from the Beijing Games, although she said she would decline a “dirty medal.”
Sayers does not have such reservations, because she would receive the bronze medal originally belonging to Christina Obergfoll of Germany.
“I'm quite happy with that. We're friends,” she said. “She told me last year she's got it. I could just go to Berlin and pick it up.”
Speaking to the BBC, Sayers added: “It's a strange place to be.
“There are going to be more and more athletes who've retired, picking up Olympic medals, thinking, ‘If only…’
“It's getting on. Some of the kids I'm coaching don't even remember those Olympics.
“You very quickly feel like a has-been in sport. And I don't want to be one of those people talking about something that happened 20 years ago, and that being the best moment of their life.”
Sayers’ bid to improve on her placing at London 2012 was wrecked by injury and she then missed out on a spot on the British team for the Rio Olympics before announcing her retirement on Wednesday.
“Last year was tough,” she said. “I just wasn't able to produce the performances I wanted to. It was quite an easy decision at the end of last year.”