Anju's Monaco Gold Delayed, Not Denied
By Shan AS | Published: 14th January 2014 02:22 AM |
Anju Bobby George’s long wait is set to end as the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) is likely to announce on Tuesday that the silver she won in the 2005 World Athletics Finals in Monaco has been upgraded to gold.
Although after a long time since the event, if she gets the gold, Anju will become the first Indian to win the yellow metal in the prestigious event. She had finished second behind Russian Tatyana Kotova, who tested positive in a retest for doping during the Helsinki World Championships in 2005. Anju is the only Indian to win a medal at the world championship. She took bronze in the Paris edition of the meet in 2003.
The news that Anju might be awarded the Monaco gold medal was out last March, when the IAAF admitted that six samples, which included world championship and Olympic medallist Kotova’s, from Helsinki tested positive in tests conducted by the Russian anti-doping agency. Recently, the Russian agency has informed IAAF of the test results.
The first indication that the IAAF has taken a final decision came when its official website updated the result of the Monaco event on Sunday. In the website, Anju tops the table while Grace Upshaw of USA second. Kotova’s name was removed and kept at the bottom as disqualified.
Talking to TNIE, Anju said she was waiting to hear this for a long time. “It was Kotova only that I couldn’t beat in my career. I always maintained that their performances (Russians) were not genuine. Now I am relieved,” the athlete settled in Bangalore commented.
Her husband cum coach Bobby George termed the news as a retirement gift. “From 2003-05, when Anju was at her best, she beat almost all the leading competitors. The fact that no Indian has won a medal at the world championship or World Athletics Final itself is a testimony to her abilities,” he said.
However, Athletic Federation of India (AFI) officials maintained they have not yet received any official intimation from the international body. “Maybe by Tuesday we will get a clear picture as the statistics wing of the IAAF will give us the final word,” said AFI secretary CK Valson.