Heffernan to learn medal fate in February
Published 23/12/2015 | 02:30
Rob Heffernan will find out in two months' time if he is an Olympic medallist after the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that it will release its decision on banned Russian race walker Sergey Kirdyapkin on February 26.
Kirdyapkin took the gold medal in the 50km event in August 2012, with Heffernan finishing fourth, but the Russian was later banned for three years and two months after it emerged he had irregularities in his biological passport dating back to 2009.
However, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) only annulled Kirdyapkin's results until June 11, 2012 allowing him to keep his Olympic gold medal. In March this year, the IAAF appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), suggesting that the selective disqualification periods handed to Kirdyapkin and five other Russian athletes violated anti-doping regulations.
Earlier this month, CAS held a two-day hearing into five of the Russians, including Kirdyapkin, but the findings of that hearing are not set to be released until the sixth Russian - steeplechaser Yuliya Zaripova - has had her case heard on February 26.
On Monday, CAS issued a statement from its headquarters in Lausanne noting that a panel of its arbitrators "will simultaneously issue an arbitral award for each case after the final case has been heard in February 2016".
If Kirdyapkin's result at the 2012 is Olympics is annulled, which is widely expected to happen, it will mean Heffernan's long wait for an Olympic medal will come to an end.
The Cork race walker faced a similar situation last year, having been upgraded to the bronze medal in the 20km race walk from the 2010 European Championships after the original gold medallist, Stanislav Emelyanov of Russia, was banned for abnormalities in his biological passport.