With barely a week to the opening of the London 2012 Olympics Games, it seems to be an early celebration time for Nigeria on Saturday as the nation’s team for men’s 4x400m relay were offered the gold medal from the 2000 Olympics, following a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board.
The Nigerians team took the gold which was originally won by the United States. But the US have since been disqualified because of one of their team members’(Antonio Pettigrew’s) confession to having been doped at the time of the Games. The United States of America were thus disqualified and stripped of the.
Pettigrew committed suicide in 2010, had been disqualified in 2008 from the 4x400m race in Sydney where the United States won gold with a team which included Michael Johnson. According to a statement, “Pettigrew was disqualified in August 2008 but the EB delayed a decision on re-allocation until it had received information stemming from investigations into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) sports-doping scandal… Having confirmed that no further information on other athletes would be forthcoming, the EB agreed to reallocate the medals and diplomas. “The teams from Nigeria, Jamaica and the Bahamas that finished behind the US men in the 4x400m race will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.”
Congratulations to the Nigerian team on this “early” gold medal. We do hope more of it would come in the London Olympics.