The cauldron’s been extinguished. Athletes have packed up and departed the athlete village. Some of the venues are being dismantled. Yet the drama of the Olympics continues!
If you were like me, you might have questioned Belarusian shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk, who won Olympic Gold at the 2012 Olympics. I took one look at her and thought, “There’s no way she’s not doping!” Drug testing that was conducted both before and after her medal-winning competition produced positive results for the steroid methenolone, an anabolic steroid attributed to boosting muscle mass and strength. (It’s also one of drugs that baseball players Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds tested positive for in 2003 and 2000, respectively.) Ostapchuk has been stripped of her gold medal and ordered to return it promptly.
How can she and/or her trainers be so stupid? How can they live with themselves knowing that they committed such a dishonest act, insulting the very core of Olympism? Furthermore, while Ostapchuk basked in the glory of having her national anthem played, where is Valerie Adams’ chance to have this rightful medal ceremony? The New Zealander will now be awarded the gold medal, Evgeniia Kolodko of Russia bumped up to silver, and fourth-place finisher Gong Lijiao of China now a bronze medalist. Yet none of them will receive the proper fanfare and celebration that they rightly deserve, all thanks to Ostapchuk’s dishonesty and greed.
If anyone else also watched the women’s 2012 Olympic triathlon, like me, you were also amazed at how very close the finish line was for Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig and Sweden’s Lisa Norden. Well, Sweden isn’t happy with the results. It has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport asking that the gold medal be awarded to Norden and not Spirig. Here’s the digital photo finish image from the London 2012 website. Spirig of Switzerland is in the background; Norden, the foreground:
Maybe it was a tie. Maybe it’s best to award them both the gold medal. But seriously–Both Spirig and Norden had the privilege of competing at the Olympics. They both were also lucky enough to medal. Isn’t that enough?
Faster, Higher, Stronger.