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American high jumper wins Olympic gold medal 9 years after competition

A U.S. silver medalist from the London Olympics is being awarded the gold as Russia is caught again in its long-running doping scandal.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — American high jumper Erik Kynard will finally get his gold medal from the 2012 London Olympics after the IOC on Friday approved reallocating some results from those games because of doping cases. Kynard’s leap of 2.33 meters placed second in London behind Ivan Ukhov, who was proven years later to have taken part in the Russian state-backed steroid doping program.

Ukhov was banned for four years in 2019 at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He went back to the same court last year for an appeal hearing but failed to overturn the ruling.

The International Olympic Committee executive board on Friday signed off on reallocating the medals and final results for five events from the London Olympics, including men’s and women's high jump.

With Kynard upgraded to men's gold, the three bronze medalists in 2012 will each now get silver medals: Derek Drouin of Canada, Robbie Grabarz of Britain and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar. Barshim also tied for gold at the Tokyo Olympics in August.

The IOC also reallocated the bronze medal in women's high jump from a Russian athlete. Svetlana Shkolina was disqualified for doping and Spain's Ruth Beitia will get the bronze.

Credit: AP
United States' Erik Kynard clears the bar in the men's high jump final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Fallout from the doping scandal involving Russia has dragged on.

At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Russian athletes were forced to compete as the Olympic Athletes from Russia. When they won a gold medal, the Olympic flag was lifted instead of the Russian one and athletes heard the Olympic anthem.

In the most recent sanctions, Russian athletes competed at the 2020 Tokyo Games as ROC -- Russian Olympic Committee. They marched under an alternate flag and had still had Russian colors on their uniforms, but they did not officially represent Russia. When they won gold, they would hear Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. 

Russian athletes will again be known as ROC at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.