Russian athletes will have to give their medals away if doping confirmed

A host of Russian athletes that excelled at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 could well have their medals stripped if the latest doping scandal comes to fruition.

It is believed that 14 Russian Olympians are in the spotlight after retrospective investigations into samples provided back in 2008 were re-examined using new methods.

However, the latest news in the scandal details that the Russians could actually have to part company with the medals they won and hand them over to fellow athletes.

A number of British athletes would be in line to win medals after finishing fourth in the Beijing Olympics.

Andrew Steele was part of Britain’s 4x400m men’s relay team and has stated that he and his compatriots deserve the medals if doping is proven.

“I don’t want to get carried away until the news is officially confirmed but right now my emotions are a bizarre mixture of happiness and anger,” he said.

“It is very unusual to celebrate something as special as an Olympic medal eight years on and of course I’ve missed out on standing on the podium at the Olympic Stadium in Beijing.

“We were quite a young team in Beijing but we were frustrated to finish fourth, because I think we ran the fastest 4x400m time ever in an Olympics that didn’t earn a medal.

“To be honest, we didn’t expect Russia to be a threat. We thought if we ran 2:58 we’d get a medal but the guy who is alleged to have doped ran a 43.4 sec 400m, which was incredibly fast.

“After that we had our suspicions. I can’t help thinking how much an Olympic medal would have changed our lives.”

Steele also said that those athletes that potentially missed out on a medal due to the doping of others should be allowed to stand on the podium at the Rio Games this summer in a feat of recognition.

“Definitely. Not only would it be a nice consolation prize for all us athletes who were deprived of a rightful medal but it would show that the IOC are acknowledging the issue,” he said.

The Russian athletes thought to be implicated in the scandal include high-jumper Anna Chicherova, runner Denis Alekseyev and walk bronze medallist Denis Nizhegorodov.