Shalane Flanagan received an Olympic silver medal on Monday — nine years overdue. She does not want a makeup medal ceremony.
The U.S. runner was upgraded from bronze to silver from the Beijing 2008 10,000m, the delivery to her Oregon home coming Monday.
That happened five months after it was announced that the original silver medalist — Turkey’s Elvan Abeylegesse — tested positive for a banned steroid in a retest of a 2007 doping sample.
“Receiving my proper medal and having the record books changed is a dream come true,” Flanagan said in a USA Track and Field press release. “I greatly appreciate the USOC’s efforts to host a more formal medal ceremony in my honor, but with my coach and my family, I have decided to forego that option and instead celebrate in private. This news, and receiving my medal, are all that I need to feel incredibly fulfilled and happy.”
USATF added that Flanagan’s bronze medal was already returned to the International Olympic Committee. Kenyan Linet Masai, the original fourth-place finisher, figures to receive it.
Abeylegesse is one of a number of track and field athletes who received retroactive bans and were stripped of medals in recent retests of doping samples from five to 10 years ago.
But not all of the stripped medals have been reallocated. Many world championships medals were re-presented in ceremonies at the recently completed track worlds in London, but zero Olympic medal reallocations were made.
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Today I finally received my Silver medal 🥈 from the 2008 Olympic women's 10000m. It was a true test in patience and faith to get to this day. I will never forget the race and elation I felt 9 years ago this August and I will never forget today when I was hand delivered my proper medal. Thank you @teamusa for making me feel so special and fighting for clean athletes ❤️ This is a dream come true.