Lynsey Sharp will be awarded a European Championship 800 metres gold medal retrospectively after it was confirmed that Russian champion Yelena Arzhakova has been banned for two years for a doping offence.
The Scot finished behind Arzhakova in Helsinki in June last year but, yesterday, the Russian athletics federation confirmed the middle distance runner had shown “abnormal haemoglobin profile in her biological passport”. Her results from 12 July 2011 have been scratched, so she will be stripped of the European 800m title.
Sharp, 22, reacted on Twitter, saying she felt “sick” after being robbed of her moment of glory. She said: “Just woken up to the news I will be upgraded to European Champion from last year as a result of Arzhakova’s ban. It makes me sick that I was denied the opportunity to do a lap of honour and stand on top of the podium with my national anthem playing.”
Scottish Athletics said it will push for a proper medal ceremony for Sharp, possibly at its annual awards dinner this autumn. Lynsey’s mum, Carol, broke the news and says she feels “bitter”. She said: “I woke Lynsey up at 5am in the United States. She just broke down in floods of tears. It is nice, yes, but there is a bit of anger there at missing out on the place on top of the podium to someone who has now failed drug tests.”