Long jumper Anju Bobby George finished 6th in an event of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens fourteen years ago. Years after finally Anju and two other long jumpers — from UK and Australia — who failed to make it to the podium at the 2004 Athens Olympics have claimed the medals they missed out on with support from their respective athletics federations, the Indian Express reported.
In February, the Athletics Federation of India, UK and Australia sent a letter the CEO of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Olivier Gers, seeking an investigation into the long jump event.
Including Anju, the athletes now want to file a petition to reinstate the results of the 2004 Summer Games as the three medal went to the winners from Russia — Tatyana Lebedeva, Irina Simagina and Tatyana Kotova — who have been charged for doping since the game.
Anju claimed gold in the 2005 World Athletics Final after an investigation was sought for Russia’s Tatyana Kotova who was stripped of her medal in 2013 following a retesting of her 2005 samples. She was charged along with two long jumpers from the United Kingdom and Australia. All three were taken under investigation for doping violations at the 2004 Athens Olympics and have found support from their respective federations.
“It is impossible to know just how deep and how far back this conspiracy goes,” said World Anti-Doping Agency’s investigator Richard McLaren after releasing his report in 2016.
“For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by the Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived,” he said.
“We have the backing of three athletics federations. Now everyone knows that the Russians have been indulging in state-sponsored doping for years. This is like the BALCO case where a lab (based in California) was supplying previously undetectable drugs to athletes,” Anju was quoted, adding that had she competed against clean athletes she would have won a medal at Athens.
“I can confirm that three federations, including India, have written a letter to the IAAF CEO requesting the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) to investigate the matter,” said her lawyer Vidushpat Singhania.