India's silver medallist at the 2005 Monaco World Athletics Final gets the gold following dope violation by Russia's Tatyana Kotova.
Long jumper Anju Bobby George expressed happiness on Tuesday after her second place finish at the 2005 Monaco World Athletics Final was upgraded to a gold medal, saying the frustrating time she endured for last nine years was worth the wait.
Anju became the first Indian track and field athlete to win a gold medal in a major world event after the international governing body IAAF upgraded her second place finish at the 2005 Monaco World Athletics Final to the top spot, following a dope violation by a Russian competitor Tatyana Kotova.
"I have been told by the AFI that I will get the gold in the Monaco World Athletics Finals. I am really happy and the wait was worth it," she said.
"I had always some doubt about some of the top Russian women long jumpers of my time and I knew that they could have been in dope," she said.
Last year Kotova was held for doping after her samples collected during the 2005 World Athletics Championships in Helsinki were found to contain traces of a banned substance.
The IAAF had re-analysed samples of the 2005 World Athletics Championships apparently in line with Internationally Olympic Committee's decision to retest eight-year old samples, dating back to 2004 Athens Olympics in order to deter dope cheats.
The 2005 Monaco World Athletics Finals (September 9-10), competed by top eight athletes of that time, was held a few weeks after the 2005 World Athletics Championships (August 6-14) in Helsinki, and hence Kotova's result in the latter event has now been deleted from the record books.
The Athletics Federation of India is yet to receive the official communication from the IAAF though the world body's website has updated the results of the 2005 World Athletics Final in Monaco, with Anju is now being listed as the gold medal winner with an effort of 6.75 metres.
IAAF Deputy General secretary as well as Communications Director Nick Davies confirmed that Anju will get the gold medal.
"Yes, on behalf of IAAF, I can confirm that Bobby George was upgraded to the 1st place at the WAF in Monaco in 2005. This is confirmed in the athlete's biography," he said, in an e-mail reply.
"There is no formal communication to the relevant Member Federation after a re-ranking resulting from an athlete's DQ (disqualification)," he said.
Former national 100 metres champion and AFI president Adille Sumariwala said he is expecting the official communication from the IAAF shortly.
"The IAAF website has updated Anju as the gold winner. We are yet to be officially communicated by the IAAF. I am waiting for the official documents in a day or two," he said.
"Anju is now the only Indian track and field athlete to have won a gold medal in a world meet," he added.
Anju, whose fifth place finish in the 2005 Helsinki World Championships was also upgraded to fourth following disqualification of Kotova (who finished second), said she is now expecting a similar change in the 2004 Athens Olympics results.
Three Russians Tatyana Lebedeva, Irina Simagina and Kotova had finished on the podium while Australia's Bronwyn Thompson was fourth ahead of Anju.
"Simagina was tested positive in a dope test in 2006 and was later handed suspension by the Russian Federation. I am hoping that if a re-testing of their samples are done, I have a chance to win a medal from the Athens Olympics," she said.
Image: Anju Bobby George
Photograph: Getty Images