TORONTO – Canadian shot putter Dylan Armstrong has patiently waited for all the hurdles to be cleared so that he can finally call himself an Olympic medallist.
On Wednesday, the Canadian Olympic Committee confirmed the long wait is coming to an end and that he has officially been awarded a third-place result from the 2008 Beijing Games.
“As a result of a lifetime ban of shot putter Andrei Mikhnevich by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded Armstrong the Olympic bronze,” the COC said in a statement.
Armstrong finished fourth that day in China, missing out on a podium appearance by less than a centimetre.
Mikhnevich, a Belarusian who originally finished third, received a lifetime ban for a doping violation last year. He was suspended after renewed tests from the 2005 world championships in Helsinki.
It was his second doping offence, which comes with an automatic lifetime ban and effectively wipes out all his results past that time.
It took a while for the process to get to this point, but the IOC finally informed the COC that the updated results are now official.
Armstrong, a 33-year-old from Kamloops, B.C., was scheduled to participate in a conference call Thursday with COC president Marcel Aubut and Athletics Canada CEO Rob Guy for the formal announcement.
Armstrong will be given the medal at a later date, a COC spokesperson said.
Last month, Armstrong received a 2010 world indoor championship bronze. Mikhnevich originally took silver at that event while the Canadian finished fourth.
Armstrong got the world indoor medal first as it only needed rubber stamping from the IAAF.
The Olympic bronze was a longer process as it needed to go through both the IAAF and the IOC.
The Canadian is aiming to compete at the 2015 world outdoor championships in Beijing and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he hopes to improve on a disappointing fifth-place finish at the 2012 London Games.
© The Canadian Press, 2014