American Set to Win Olympic Gold—for 2012 Race

Lashinda Demus recognized as winner after Russian stripped of medal due to doping
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2022 5:06 AM CST
American Set to Win Olympic Gold for 2012 Race
Russia's Natalya Antyukh, middle, holds the gold medal, United States' Lashinda Demus, left, the silver medal and Czech Republic's Zuzana Hejnova the bronze medal during a ceremony for the women's 400-meter hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, FIle)

More than a decade after the race was run, Lashinda Demus is set to enter the record books as the first American woman to win the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympics. Russian 400-meter hurdler Natalya Antyukh is being stripped of her gold medal from the London 2012 Olympics due to doping, CBS reports. Demus took silver after finishing seven hundredths of a second behind Antyukh at the event. The Athletics Integrity Unit said Wednesday that Antyukh hadn't appealed a penalty issued two months ago, meaning the International Olympic Committee can now "proceed with the reallocation of medals and the update of the IOC database."

The IOC said Wednesday that while reallocation is not automatic, reallocations are submitted to its board for approval "once the athletes/teams sanctioned have exhausted all their remedies of appeal and when all procedures are closed." The Russian Anti-Doping Agency announced in October that Antyukh's results from July 2012 through June 2013 would be canceled due to evidence of doping. "I hope that keeping athletes honest in our sport stays at the forefront for those who sacrifice a good part of their life to be great at it," Demus, 39, said at the time.

The official results at World Athletics now list Demus in first place, with Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic in second place and Jamaica's Kaliese Spencer in third. Demus narrowly failed to qualify the Olympics in 2008, the year after she gave birth to twins, and she didn't make to the 2016 Olympics after a series of injuries, NBC reports. "Of course, I wanted the gold medal; I will not stop until I get the gold medal," she said after the 2012 race, in which she was the third-fastest woman on record. Since then, two more American women have won the event: Dalilah Muhammed in 2016 and Sydney McLaughlin last year. (More 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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