Caster Semenya unfazed about golden upgrade
SA’s sprint legend says upgraded medals lack the thrill of winning the event
Caster Semenya was not excited about the prospect of having her 2012 Olympic and 2011 world championships silver medals upgraded to gold in the wake of Mariya Savinova-Farnosova’s doping ban, the coach of the South African 800m athlete said on Sunday.
Russian Savinova-Farnosova was stripped of her titles on Friday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed a four-year ban, saying there was "clear evidence" she had used performance-enhancing drugs.
Semenya finished second behind the Russian in both Daegu in the worlds in 2011 and London 2012 and is now set to become a double Olympic champion after her victory in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
"I spoke to her and we both agree — it’s not the same," her coach Jean Verster said. "We weren’t there on the podium and there was no national anthem so it’s kind of water under the bridge for us."
Savinova-Farnosova is the latest on a growing list of Russian athletes to have past Olympic medals taken away over drug usage, as the nation struggles to overcome its most widespread doping scandal.
More than 100 athletes have so far tested positive in retests of samples taken during the London and Beijing 2008 Olympics, conducted by the International Olympic Committee. Russia has the most positive retests per nation.