RELEASE
August 21, 2014

ARMSTRONG TO BE AWARDED BEIJING 2008 OLYMPIC BRONZE
Doping results vaults Canadian shot putter onto Olympic podium 

Kamloops, B.C. – Canadian shot put star and two-time Olympian, Dylan Armstrong, will be awarded the Beijing 2008 Olympic Bronze medal. The decision is due to the recently-announced life-time ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for shot putter Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus. Mikhnevich tested positive in retests of his doping sample from the 2005 World Championships.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has acknowledged this sanction, which has led to revised medal standings in the men’s shot put competition. Additionally, the implications of the lifetime ban have also resulted in Armstrong receiving a bronze medal from the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships, as he finished fourth behind Mikhnevich.

“I’m thrilled about receiving an Olympic bronze medal that I worked so very hard for because being an Olympic medallist was a major goal for me and one of my childhood dreams. There is no doubt that I am looking forward to celebrating this medal with my family, friends and sponsors,” said Armstrong. “Missing the podium in Beijing by a single centimetre was really tough, but it provided me with more determination and drive, to help me want to achieve more.”

“Athletics Canada is so pleased for Dylan, his coach Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk and his entire support team. Dylan worked so hard to earn his spot on the podium and has now been rewarded,” said Rob Guy, Athletics Canada CEO. “His commitment to excellence and never say never approach to sport is something all athletes should aspire to. Six years later, and he’s thinking of Rio and what that might bring.”

The revised Beijing 2008 Olympic Games results for men’s shot put sees Canada’s Armstrong (21.04m) join gold medallist, Tomasz Majewski of Poland (21.51m) and silver medallist, Christian Cantwell of the USA (21.09m) on the medal podium.

“Dylan is a wonderfully talented athlete and his dedication to his sport is evident each time he competes. Today, his hard work has now been rewarded with an Olympic bronze medal,” added Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “I know that many Canadians have enjoyed his performances over the years and it’s a joy to see another Canadian reach the podium. Congratulations Dylan, we’re all so proud of you.”

“I am extremely excited at the opportunity to use this Olympic medal as a foundation in my community, and across the country in order to positively influence and inspire youth to help ensure there are more medallists in the future. I would like to thank my coach and mentor Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk for his dedication and outstanding coaching over the years. I also want to thank the IOC, COC and Athletics Canada for their ongoing support,” added Armstrong.

Armstrong’s bronze brings Team Canada’s total medal haul to 19 (3 gold, 9 silver and 7 bronze) at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

 

BACKGROUNDER

KEY FACTS:

  • This is Canada’s first ever Olympic medal in shot put
  • Armstrong initially finished fourth, throwing 21.04m and missing the bronze medal by 1cm
  • Original bronze medallist, Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus, had his results dating back to August 2005 annulled by the IAAF in July 2013 following a re-testing of doping samples collected at the 2005 IAAF World Championships
  • Armstrong was already retroactively awarded the bronze medal from the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships after Mikhnevich was stripped of his silver medal

OTHER NOTABLE CANADIAN OLYMPIC MEDAL RE-ALLOCATIONS:

Frank Lukeman – Stockholm 1912 (athletics, pentathlon, bronze)
Frank Lukeman was awarded the bronze medal in the pentathlon in May 1913 after American gold medallist Jim Thorpe had his results voided in January 1913 when it was revealed that he had played minor league baseball. In October 1982, Thorpe’s medals were restored by the IOC but those who were upgraded remained in the upgraded positions, including Lukeman as the bronze medallist.

Debbi Wilkes and Guy Revell – Innsbruck 1964 (figure skating, pairs, silver)

At Innsbruck 1964 Debbi Wilkes and Guy Revell initially won the bronze medal but were upgraded to silver in 1966 when it was revealed that the original second place finishers from West Germany had signed a professional contract prior to the Games, which would have made them ineligible. In 1987 the silver medals were returned to the Germans, however Wilkes and Revell remain as co-silver medallists.

Sylvie Fréchette – Barcelona 1992 (synchronized swimming, solo, gold)

Canada’s Sylvie Fréchette was the reigning world champion, having defeated American Kristen Babb-Sprague. During the figures portion of the event when the Brazilian judge, Ana da Silveira, scored one of Fréchette’s  figures as 8.7. Da Silveira announced that she had made a mistake and tried to change her score to the 9.7 she intended. The change was not permitted. In December 1993, upon FINA’s recommendation and with the IOC’s approval, Fréchette received a gold medal making her co-Olympic Champion with Babb-Sprague.

Beckie Scott – Salt Lake City 2002 (cross-country skiing, 5km+5km pursuit, gold)

At the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Beckie Scott skied to a third place finish in the 5km+5km pursuit. Olga Danilova and Larissa Lazutina finished first and second, but both Russians failed out of competition tests on February 21. They had passed their drug tests after the pursuit but tested positive for darbepoetin in a later event. Scott was upgraded to silver on October 21, 2003 when it was proven that Lazutina had failed a drug test in a World Cup race prior to the Olympic Games and therefore was actually ineligible to have competed in Salt Lake City. Danilova was stripped of her gold in a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in December 2003. This meant a gold medal for Scott, who was presented with the medal in Vancouver on June 25, 2004.

Jamie Salé and David Pelletier – Salt Lake City 2002 (figure skating, pairs, gold)

On February 11, 2002, Jamie Salé and David Pelletier finished second in the free skate to place second overall behind Russians Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze. French judge Marie Reine Le Gougne told the chair of the ISU Technical Committee, that she was pressured by the head of the French ice sports federation, to vote for the Russians. On February 15, Le Gougne was suspended indefinitely for misconduct, while the ISU and IOC announced that the Canadians would join the Russians as co-Olympic champions. Salé and Pelletier received their gold medals in a special ceremony on February 17.

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Athletics Canada: 

Mathieu Gentès, Director, Public Relations and Corporate Services
Tel: 613-260-5580 x.3303
mgentes@athletics.ca

Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:          

Jane Almeida, Senior Manager, Media Relations
Tel: 416-324-4120 / Cell: 416-540-1788
Email: jalmeida@olympic.ca

Luc Beaudin, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
Cell: 514-206-6720
Email: lbeaudin@olympic.ca

Marc-André Plouffe, Executive Director, Communications
Tel: 514-861-5487 / Cell: 416-428-0572
Email: maplouffe@olympic.ca