Eight years on, Anju's jump turns gold

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Athletics-Generic

Bengaluru: When sweat and blood seem insufficient to make a champion, steroids and other drugs appear to do the job. But justice does catch up sooner or later. Eight years and four months after former Indian long jump ace Anju Bobby George won a silver at the 3rd IAAF World Athletics Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco, she has been elevated to the gold after initial winner Tatyana Kotova of Russia was found to be a dope cheat.

In March last year, the IAAF had announced that following the retesting of samples from the 2005 World Athletics Championships held in Helsinki, six new cases of doping had emerged including that of Kotova.

The Monte Carlo meet was held a month prior to the world meet.

Kotova, now 37, is a much decorated athlete with three world championships and two Olympic medals to her credit.

Although Kotova was found guilty 10 months ago, the International Association of Athletics Federations, upgraded Anju as the winner on their official website only on Monday morning.

Anju, 36, a mother of two, who last competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics said, “This was long overdue. I always knew I was competing with people who looked ‘supernatural’ to me. Most of us knew that many of our rivals were not clean. In fact, Britain’s long jump ace Jade Johnson once commented that I should have won the gold and she the silver at the Athens Olympic Games. I’m happy and relieved to have got what I always deserved.”

The Athletics Federation of India is likely to receive an official communication from the world body on Tuesday.

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