UP A NOTCH: The Trinidad and Tobago combination of Keston Bledman, far left, Richard “Torpedo” Thompson, Marc Burns and Emmanuel Callender will be promoted to silver in the 2012 Olympic Games men’s 4x100 metres relay. —Photo: KWAME LAURENCE

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UP TO SILVER

Gay sanction to earn T&T Olympic 4x1 promotion

By Kwame Laurence kwame.laurence@trinidadexpress.com

Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Richard “Torpedo” Thompson are set to become the 2012 Olympic Games men’s 4x100 metres silver medallists.

The T&T quartet will earn promotion, from bronze to silver, following the sanction imposed on Tyson Gay. 

The American sprint star was banned for one year by the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) after testing positive for an anabolic steroid last year, and all his results, starting from July 15, 2012—the date on which he first used a product that contained a banned substance—have been annulled. Among the voided results is the Olympic sprint relay silver earned by Justin Gatlin, Trell Kimmons, Gay and Ryan Bailey at the London Games on August 11, 2012.

With the Americans disqualified, T&T move from bronze to silver, and France, from fourth to bronze.

Rule 41 of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Competition Rules states: “Where the Athlete who has committed an anti-doping rule violation competed as a member of a relay team, the relay team shall be automatically disqualified from the Event in question, with all resulting consequences for the relay team, including the forfeiture of all titles, awards, medals, points and prize money.”

The Americans’ loss is T&T’s gain.

The promotion is the second for the T&T quartet. Anchorman Thompson had crossed the line fourth in the Olympic final, but his team moved into a podium position after third-placed Canada were disqualified for a lane violation.

Following his impressive victory in the International Twilight Games men’s 100m dash, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Friday night, Thompson told the Sunday Express he was pleased to become a triple Olympic silver medallist.

“Someone told me, when I came in the stands after I ran, that we were promoted to the silver medal. It’s unfortunate for the US team. However, as Trinidadians we are all happy to be elevated a spot up. To be a triple Olympic silver medallist is definitely a blessing, and we pray that we continue to see more medals in the future.

“This is great news for myself, the entire 4x1 team, and great news for Trinidad and Tobago.”

The T&T haul at the London Olympics will improve to one gold, one silver and two bronze medals. 

National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president, Ephraim Serrette said the belated silver is much-welcomed.

“It puts us in good standing with respect to what was already our best-ever Olympics. The upgrade to silver makes it even better. We now have to up the gold medals in 2016.”

T&T’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste is part of the same Florida training camp as Gay, and also tested positive last year. Like Gay, Baptiste cooperated with a USADA investigation. A date for her hearing before the NAAA disciplinary panel is expected to be announced soon.

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