Goldie Sayers has been left ‘gutted’ by the possibility she was denied a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as yet another doping scandal engulfs athletics.
The Newmarket-born javelin star has found herself embroiled in the furore surrounding the news that Russia faces being banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics after an investigation revealed “state-sponsored” doping where positive tests were destroyed for cash.
The 33-year-old agonisingly missed out on a medal in Beijing as she finished fourth, despite setting a new UK record with a throw of 65.75 metres, as Russia’s Maria Abakumova claimed silver, finishing second behind eventual winner Barbora Špotáková of the Czech Republic.
But while there is no proof been put forward to suggest Abakumova cheated, every Russian medal won over the years has now been thrown under a cloud of suspicion, leaving Sayers pondering the possibility she was robbed.
“It is gutting it really is,” she said. “I worked incredibly hard to get to an Olympic Games and put myself in a position to do everything I could on the day.
“I broke a British record, threw a personal best and possibly threw the furthest in history not to win a medal by finishing in fourth place.
“But to now not know, to suspect and to think you may have been denied getting that medal is pretty gutting.”
Pressure is mounting on the new IAAF president and double Olympic 1500m gold medallist, Lord Sebastian Coe, to take harsh action, with Sayers joining a long list of athletes, including Paula Radcliffe and Daley Thompson, calling for medals to be removed from drug cheats and given to clean athletes to regain lost trust in athletics.
But while Sayers, who could be set to prosper from such actions, should any wrong-doing be proven, has given her backing to the idea, she did concede that no-one truly knows how far the scandal could date back to.
“One way of restoring that faith would be to re-award medals from those guilty of cheating,” she added.
“However, we don’t know how far it may go back,” said Sayers, speaking to BBC Look East.