Congratulations, Adam Nelson! You’re about to the be proud owner of a 2004 Olympic gold medal.
After more than 3,000 days as the silver medalist in the shot put, Nelson is expected to be awarded the gold medal after the original victor, Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine, was recently found to have been doping.
“I’m still processing this one, but the 2004 Olympics were a really special moment for me,” Nelson told the New York Times. “My wife was there, a bunch of my friends from college, my family…
“The downside of this is I feel like our country was robbed of a medal at the relevant time. One of the biggest parts of an Olympic career is when you hear your anthem and see your flag when you stand on that podium. That’s something I can never replace.”
Nelson, who also owns a silver from the Sydney Games, actually tied for the gold medal in 2004 by throwing the shot 21.16 meters. However, he lost the tie-breaker based on the athletes’ second-best throw.
Bilonog is one of four Eastern Europeans athletes caught using performance-enhancing drugs when their eight-year old urine samples from Athens were thawed and retested using more sophisticated methods.
The other athletes include Russia’s Svetlana Krivelyova, who won bronze in the shot put, and Belarus’s Ivan Tsikhan and Iryna Yatchenko, who won silver in the hammer throw and bronze in the discus, respectively.