Caster Semenya is set to have her 2012 Olympic 800m silver medal upgraded to gold after Russian champion Mariya Savinova was stripped of her title.
Although it is a formality, the gold must still officially be given to Semenya, the 2016 Olympic champion. When that happens, she will be the first South African competitor to win back-to-back Olympic golds.
Being upgraded to the 2012 Olympic gold would also make Semenya the first woman to defend an Olympic title in that event.
The international sports tribunal on Friday stripped the Russian runner of the gold medal and banned her for four years for doping.
Savinova was also stripped of her 2011 world championship gold‚ another race where Semenya ended second.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said there was “clear evidence” that Savinova was involved in doping from the eve of the European Championship in Barcelona in 2010 until the 2013 world championships in Moscow — including for the 2012 London Games.
The ban was back-dated to start on August 24, 2015. CAS said all prizes won between July 26, 2010 and August 19, 2013, are forfeited.
The CAS acted as the main tribunal in the case as the Russian athletics federation is suspended by the world body, the International Association of Athletics Federations because of its doping controversy.
The International Olympic Committee had yet to reply to media asking when Semenya would officially be crowned.
The women’s 800m, apart from a one-off appearance at the 1928 Olympics, became a regular event in 1960.