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Rob Heffernan set to finally receive London 2012 Olympic medal as Russian walker stripped

While Olive Loughnane finally looks set to claim gold from the Berlin World Championships.

Heffernan after his fourth place finish in 2012.
Heffernan after his fourth place finish in 2012.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

HE MIGHT NOT have his Olympic bronze medal around his neck just yet, but Rob Heffernan now looks certain to receive one after a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today.

The ruling also means Olive Loughnane’s should receive a retrospective World Championship gold from 2009.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had appealed to CAS that the Russian Athletics Federation (RUSADA) had incorrectly applied anti-doping rules with respect to disqualification of results for six athletes.

That list included 2012 Olympic 50k Walk champion Sergey Kirdyapkin and 2009 20k walk gold medallist Olga Kaniskina.

Heffernan finished an agonising fourth behind the Russian in that race but could be awarded a retrospective bronze after CAS ruled that all competitive results obtained by Kirdyapkin from 20 August 2009 to 15 October 2012 are now disqualified.

While Kaniskina’s 20k Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008 is allowed stand, her result at the following year’s World Championships in Berlin has been disqualified meaning Loughnane’s should be elevated to gold after finishing second in the event.

However, it should be noted the statement from CAS also states that it 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.”

It is, however, widely expected the IAAF will reallocate the medals.

Speaking to The42 last month, Heffernan said of the possibility of being awarded the bronze:

I was chatting to my agent Derry in December and I was saying that we need to sort out the presentation because I was starting to dream about it.”

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Steve O'Rourke

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