Irish athlete Robert Heffernan primed for belated bronze medal from London 2012

Irish athlete Robert Heffernan primed for belated bronze medal from London 2012

IRELAND'S Robert Heffernan could be awarded a belated Olympic Bronze medal from his effort at the 2012 Games in London.

The race-walker finished fourth in the 50km event over three years ago, but the investigation that has rocked the world of athletics could yet see him upgraded to a third-place finish.

That’s because the Russian who won the race, Sergey Kirdyapkin, is expected to be stripped of his medal due to his reported involvement in the state-supported systematic doping regime deployed by Russian athletics, as outlined in a 335-page independent report released on Monday.

The International Association of Athletics Federations [IAAF] will attend a hearing in the Court for Arbitration [CAS] in early December, when confirmation of Kirdyapkin’s removal from the results could be confirmed.

The Cork native is not getting his hopes up just yet, as per his Twitter account below, but it’s looking as though justice will be done in due course.

A subsequent press release issued by Heffernan's agent, Derry McVeigh, read as follows...

If the Independent Commission report from WADA on the scale of doping practices in Russia is correct and the wrong-doing mentioned therein are to be remedied, then the case for Robert Heffernan to be promoted to an Olympic Bronze Medal is very strong.

But Robert accepts there is a process to be followed respecting both the rights of those who are accused of doping offences and the need to remedy injustices perpetrated on clean athletes. Obviously Robert has very mixed emotions in relation to this and for the time being will decline all further media requests on this subject.

Nothing official has been made known to us about the possibility of promoting Robert to Olympic Bronze. At this point in time, Robert remains focused on his preparations for Rio.