Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Weightlifter Christine Girard in Line for Olympic Medal Upgrade to Gold

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Weightlifter Christine Girard in Line for Olympic Medal Upgrade to Gold

Article excerpt

Upgrade to gold possible for Canada's Girard

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Christine Girard appears poised to become Canada's first Olympic gold medallist in weightlifting, but she may have to wait years to celebrate the historic achievement.

Girard learned Wendesday that her bronze medal from the London Olympics may be upgraded to gold after the two women who finished ahead of her were nabbed in doping retests.

"I'm really, really proud that's for sure, I'm even more proud it's the first gold medal for my sport and our country. It's pretty amazing," Girard told The Canadian Press in a phone interview. "It's bittersweet. I would have really liked to have had the proper ceremony, have our flag and hear that song that makes us cry on the podium, but at the same time I'm happy that it got cleared up."

The International Weighlifting Federation announced Wednesday that samples of 11 weightlifters from the 2012 Games showed positive results.

Svetlana Tsarukaeva of Russia, who finished second in the women's 63-kilogram division, was among the 11 athletes, testing positive for the steroid dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

Gold medallist Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan was already caught testing positive for stanozolol in an earlier batch of retesting.

Both Tsarukaeva and Maneza have been provisionally suspended but it will likely take months, or even years, for the Olympic medals to be redistributed.

"These people still have a right to appeal and the right to a second test," Canadian Weightlifting Federation president Paul Barrett said.

Girard isn't holding her breath waiting for the gold.

"I heard it could take up to two years, so I have no expectations on time and no one has contacted me so far, so I have no idea," she said.

Barrett said he has not been contacted by either the IWF or the Canadian Olympic Committee about a possible upgrade either.

Girard said she wasn't surprised by the positive tests.

"We knew it was part of our sport, some girls don't really look like girls anymore so unfortunately we kind of knew (there was doping)," she said. …

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