Nelson may claim gold 8 years after Athens Games
Nelson may claim gold 8 years after Athens Games
He missed out on that moment when he ended up with a silver that day — behind a winner who was recently exposed as a drug cheat.
The International Olympic Committee executive board just disqualified four athletes whose Athens doping samples were retested earlier this year and came back positive for steroids, including shot put gold medalist Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine.
There’s been no decision on whether the medals will be reallocated and, really, Nelson doesn’t care as much as he does about this: A cheater got caught.
“It’s not just a victory for me, but a victory for the system,” Nelson said in a phone interview Friday. “I can’t dwell on what happened or didn’t happen eight years ago. I can only look forward to what the next phase in life brings. At least now I can do that with a gold medal.” Or so he hopes.
The IOC said it will ask the International Association of Athletics Federations to get the four medals back and readjust the results and rankings from the Athens Games.
Until then, no actions will be taken regarding the medals.
Medal or no medal, though, he knows he’s the rightful winner.
Now if he could only locate his silver medal, just in case he is upgraded. Nelson tucked it away in a sock drawer years ago and thinks his wife may have moved it into the attic.
This has nothing to do with being sore over taking second, but more about never being one to display his trophies. He also captured a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Games and several more at world championships.
Nelson just recently retired from competition and is living in Athens, Georgia, where he’s opening a sports performance center and volunteering his time to help raise awareness for rare diseases.
“Hearing those amazing stories and personal triumphs — and the losses — that really puts things in perspective,” Nelson said. “It’s been an inspiration.” He found out about the decision to strip Bilonog on his way out of town Wednesday. Ever since, his phone has been buzzing with well-wishers.
Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will cover all external debts owed by Saudi Professional League clubs
- Crown Prince will provide 1,277,000,000 Saudi riyals (around $340 million)
RIYADH: The General Sports Authority and Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) have announced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will cover all external debts owed by Saudi Professional League clubs.
According to reports, the Crown Prince will provide 1,277,000,000 Saudi riyals (around $340 million) that will not only clear monies owed but also enable clubs to invest ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The issue of debt had become a major issue in the country’s football scene.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs are currently experiencing financial problems that require immediate and urgent intervention,” the General Sports Authority, which oversees Saudi Arabian sport, said in a statement released on social media.
The body noted that there are a total of 107 cases under appeal at world governing body FIFA regarding unpaid salaries in Saudi Arabia.
“Failure to intervene urgently to rescue clubs may result in damage to the reputation of the Kingdom in general and Saudi Arabian sport in particular,” added the GSA.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs may face severe disciplinary sanctions because of the failure to meet financial obligations such as the
denial of the registration of players in general or the deduction of points.”
Unpaid salaries were also a factor in Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr being unable to appear in this year’s AFC Champions League after they were denied AFC club licenses.
Al-Ittihad were the club with the highest debt of 309 million riyals ($82 million) and welcomed the news.
“We are delighted by the generous initiative of His Royal Highness,” Al-Ittihad president Nawaf Al-Muqairn said in an official statement released by the two-time Asian champions.
“This contributes to creating solid ground for all clubs to move toward achieving their goals.”
Legendary Saudi striker Sami Al-Jaber, recently appointed president of champions Al-Hilal, announced his gratitude on social media.
“Great thanks to His Highness the Crown Prince for the great support that the clubs have enjoyed which enables sport in our country to keep pace with the aspirations of our leadership,” Al-Jaber wrote.
The Crown Prince’s move followed the SAFF announcing a new raft of regulations in April that will come into effect next season and are designed to take the league forward. These included restricting club spending on transfers and salaries to 70 percent of revenue. The size of first-team squads has been reduced from 33 to 28, of which five must be homegrown players of 23 or younger.