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Michael Rogers (Australia)
"The medal is more kind of a substitute," he says
Michael Rogers will receive a belated bronze medal after Tyler Hamilton was officially stripped of his gold medal from the 2004 Olympic Games time trial in Athens.
Rogers had finished fourth in the event. He is yet to receive official notification of his upgrade from the International Olympic Committee with it's executive board meeting on Friday to reassign the medals from the Athens Games time trial, rewarding gold to Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia), silver to Bobby Julich (USA) and bronze to Rogers (Australia). The action is prompted by the IOC's approaching eight-year statute of limitations deadline.
Hamilton tested positive for homologous blood doping at the 2004 Vuelta a España, which followed the Olympic Games. In fact, Hamilton's "A" sample from the Olympic Games time trial had also tested positive for a blood transfusion, but mishandling of the backup sample meant the result could not be confirmed with the "B" sample, and therefore, Hamilton had been allowed to keep his Olympic medal.
A previous joint appeal by the Russian and Australian Olympic Committees to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in 2006, was denied. The Russians and Australians had asked unsuccessfully for CAS to give Hamilton's medal to Ekimov and for this reason, Rogers is not confident of actually receiving the medal.
"To tell you the truth, I wasn't really holding my breath [about receiving the medal]," he said in an Australian Olympic Committee press release.
"One part of me is happy to finally receive the medal, on the other side it [the medal] doesn't mean a lot," the three times world time trial champion said.
"I think I missed the opportunity of that actual moment of the podium on the day.
"There aren't too many athletes who get to go on the podium and to experience the life long memories of that.
"I remember that day. My mum (Sonja) and dad (Ian) and wife (Alessia) travelled all that way to be there in Athens.
"Unfortunately, I can't get that back, so the medal is more kind of a substitute."