Sport Athletics Tallent to receive gold medal in Melbourne
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Tallent to receive gold medal in Melbourne

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One thousand, four hundred and six days after he was robbed of his moment of London Olympic glory by a Russian drug cheat, Australian Jared Tallent will finally have the 2012 Olympics 50km walk gold medal draped around his neck.

Australia’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president John Coates will preside over the ceremony on the Treasury steps in central Melbourne on June 17.

The lunchtime presentation will take place at the same location where the annual AFL grand final parade concludes every year.

Tallent to be awarded gold medal
• ‘Russians took something from me I can’t get back’

Australian Olympic officials are hopeful that a large crowd will be on hand to pay tribute to Tallent.

Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin was first across the line in the 50km walk at the London Olympics, with Tallent finishing second.

But Kirdyapkin was later revealed to be a drug cheat and stripped of the title.

The IOC ruled in March this year that the gold medal should go to Tallent, a long-time vocal critic of the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“I have believed I was the winner ever since I finished the race, that I was the real winner on the dais. It is going to be fantastic to get the medal,” Tallent said when Kirdyapkin was stripped of the medal.

Should the 31-year-old Tallent go on to successfully defend the 50km title in Rio in August, he would become the first Australian male track and field athlete since 1896 to win more than one Olympic gold medal.

Only hours after Tallent is presented with the 2012 gold medal on June 17, athletics’ world governing body will issue its recommendation on whether the Russian track and field team should be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics.

The IAAF issued a ban on Russia last year after the World Anti-Doping Agency documented its state-sponsored, systematic doping program.

-AAP

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