Kelly Sotherton was on Monday night on the brink of being awarded another Olympic medal denied her by a drugs cheat after Tatyana Chernova was stripped of her 2008 heptathlon bronze.
Chernova, who had already lost her 2011 world title and London 2012 bronze medal after being caught doping, was found guilty of taking the prohibited substance dehydrochloromethyltestosterone at the Beijing Games following a retest of a sample the Russian provided at the time.
Sotherton was therefore in line to become a back-to-back Olympic heptathlon medallist almost nine years after following up her 2004 bronze with what was an agonising fifth place. (Lyudmila Blonskaya was stripped of her silver medal for a doping offence, which moved Sotherton up to fourth).
The medal would also be the second reallocated to her from the Beijing Games after she and her Great Britain team-mates were upgraded to third place in the women’s 4x400 metres in November.
Sotherton, Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro and Nicola Sanders had originally finished fifth but both Russia and Belarus were disqualified last year during the reanalysis of frozen urine and blood samples by the International Olympic Committee.
The 40-year-old posted on Twitter at the time: “I’ve just learnt I could be a Double Olympic medallist. I’m happy, absolutely f******* fuming and sad.”
She also told the BBC she had been experiencing “lots of different emotions”.
“Ultimately, I’m happy, but I just wish at the time I had an opportunity to be on the podium,” she added.
“I feel like I’ve lost eight years of calling myself a double Olympic medallist. There could have been more sponsorship deals going into London 2012 for all of us, more bonuses, a lot more adulation.
“It’s not just the athletes who lose out, it’s maybe the athletes’ families, support staff and the sport, which relies on people to win medals to gain funding from UK Sport.”
It was unclear last night how or when Sotherton would receive her 2008 heptathlon medal.
Chernova had also robbed Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill of gold at the 2011 World Championships, with that medal set to be awarded to the 31-year-old during a special medal ceremony at London 2017.
Jo Pavey was also in line to receive a reallocated 10,000m bronze medal from the 2007 worlds at the same event.