Even with the dark cloud that is the Russian doping scandal hanging over the international track and field community, Ballarat’s Jared Tallent, who should have been a two-time gold medallist, is making the most of the recent revelations.
Olympic race walker Tallent staged a gold medal ceremony of his own in what appears to be someone's backyard after it was made public that the two racers who finished ahead of him during his third-place finish at the 2011 World Championships were among those involved in the state-sponsored doping scandal.
The Australian walker just can't wait until the International Olympic Committee awards him with his belated 2012 gold medal.
Tallent, with the help of two friends, a pillow and a stone block, did their best to recreate the 2011 medal ceremony.
At the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Tallent finished the 50 kilometre walk in 3:43:36, good enough to nab a bronze medal behind the Russian duo of Sergey Bakulin and Denis Nizhegorodov.
But Nizhegorodov was among the 14 athletes and nine medalists to be named by the TASS as having been caught for doping, thus voiding his silver medal. After the IAAF filed an appeal in 2015, Bakulin was stripped of his gold medal.
Prior to this, the Russian authorities had allowed Bakulin's World Championship medal to stand by shaping his selective disqualifications to exclude the Daegu results.
The updating of the Worlds medal recipients marks the second time this year Tallent has had his medals upgraded on account of the Russian doping scandal. Tallent came in second to Sergey Kirdyapkin at the 2012 London Olympics in the 50-kilometre walk, taking home the silver medal after crossing the finish line less than a minute after his Russian counterpart. Although Kirdyapkin was handed a three-year doping ban in 2015, according to the Associated Press, the sanctions did not include his Olympic victory, a change that was made this past March.
The Australian Olympic Committee announced Tallent will receive his gold medal from the 2012 Games in an official Olympic ceremony to be held in Melbourne on June 17.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.