Brazil's Maurren Maggi is flanked by Tatiana Lebedeva (L) and Blessing Okagbare (R) on the podium for the women's Long Jump event at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fortunehas smiled on Nigerian sprinting sensation and Long Jump queen, Blessing Okagbare as her Beijing 2008 Bronze medal is set to be upgraded to Silver after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped Russia’s Tatiana Lebedeva of the Silver medal in the women’s Long Jump event.

The Russian athlete won Silver medals in the Long Jump and Triple Jump events respectively in Beijing. However, following a re-analysis of her samples from the Games, she was stripped of both medals and was disqualified from the Beijing Olympics for testing positive to prohibited substance dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

According to the IOC, Lebedeva is to return both Silver medals, diplomas and medallist pins obtained in her events. The body also mandated the IAAF to modify the results of the above-mentioned events accordingly.

This means that Jamaica’s Chelsea Hammond will now move up from her initial 4th place finish to the Bronze medal position. The GOLD medal was won by Brazil’s Maurren Maggi.

The withdrawal of Lebedeva’s Triple Jump Silver medal has dramatically altered the podium placement in the event, considering that initial Bronze medallist, Hrysopiyi Devetzi was also disqualified by the IOC and stripped of her medal on November 17, 2016, after a re-analysis of her doping sample from 2008 was found to have stanozolol in it.

As such, Rio 2016 Bronze medallist Olga Rypakova who placed 4th in Beijing 2008 with a distance of 15.11m, will now claim the Silver medal, while 5th place finisher Yargelis Savigne (15.05m) of Cuba will be awarded Bronze. Françoise Mbango Etone won the event in an Olympic Record (OR) of 15.39m while competing for Cameroon.

According to insidethegames.biz, Lebedeva has resigned from her position on the World Olympians Association (WOA) Executive Committee, and has also been suspended from her position on the International Association of Athletics Federations’ Women’s Committee. However, she intends to appeal IOC’s decision.

In a similar development, the Jamaican quartet of Usain Bolt, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell was stripped of their GOLD medal in the men’s 4x100m from the same Olympics after Carter tested positive to banned  substance methylhexaneamine.

Brazil's Maurren Maggi is flanked by Tatiana Lebedeva (L) and Blessing Okagbare (R) on the podium for the women's Long Jump event at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Photo Credit: Getty Images
Brazil’s Maurren Maggi is flanked by Tatiana Lebedeva (L) and Blessing Okagbare (R) on the podium for the women’s Long Jump event at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She has a bias for athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). Yemi holds a BA in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University .

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