Britain’s Jo Pavey says it is a bittersweet feeling to receive her 2007 World Championships 10,000m bronze medal after Turkey’s Elvan Abeylegesse had her result chalked off.
Athletics’ governing body the IAAF said the silver medallist had been found guilty of an in-competition doping offence during the event in Japan.
Pavey, 43, was beaten to bronze by American Kara Goucher, who will now be upgraded to silver.
“It is frustrating,” said Pavey.
“I am thrilled with the news but it is kind of bittersweet because when I think back to those championships I was running as hard as I could, I had got myself in the best shape and it was a hot and humid day. I was in a medal position right until the line but couldn’t hold on.
“Instead of being a moment where I was thrilled at getting my first medal, I was lying on the track feeling totally despondent and frustrated, I felt that I had let everyone down.”
‘I think about the other medals I might have had’
It is Pavey’s first World medal, having been on the podium at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
The saga surrounding Abeylegesse dates back to 2015 when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced 28 athletes who competed at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships had returned “adverse findings” from retested samples.
The Turkish Athletics Federation subsequently revealed that Abeylegesse was one of those under investigation. The Ethiopian-born runner was withdrawn from the 2015 Worlds as a consequence.
Her results from 25 August 2007 to 25 August 2009 have been removed and the 34-year-old is retrospectively banned from 29 September 2015 to 28 September 2017.
Pavey says she feels angry at Abeylegesse for denying her of her podium moment, and has questioned whether she has potentially missed out on more medals.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Pavey added: “I had a few years in the prime of my career where I kept just missing out on medals and I almost had to go back to the drawing board and think how I could find that extra. How I could not keep getting it just a bit wrong on the day.
“Now I look back and I think about the other medals I might have had and actually I was doing a lot of things right but with the cheats out there it does make it so much more difficult and so frustrating.”
Pavey, a five-time Olympian, is set to compete in this year’s London Marathon with the aim of qualifying for the 2017 World Championships in London.
Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, who won gold in the 10,000m at the 2007 Worlds, will also line up against Pavey during April’s marathon.