November 09, 2015

The fifth-place finisher at 800 meters in the 2012 Olympics woke up Monday morning and realized she might still win a medal. A bunch of them, in fact.

What American runner Alysia Montano will never get is the feeling of winning those medals, and having them placed around her neck at the Olympics or world championships.

A report released by an independent commission found evidence of systematic doping within the Russian track and field program. Among the commission's numerous recommendations were lifetime bans for London Olympic 800-meter champion Mariya Savinova-Farnosova and bronze medalist Ekaterina Poistogova.

Montano finished fifth, and if the recommendations are followed, she could conceivably get the bronze from the 2012 Games. In fact, she could also be in line to win bronze medals from the 2011 and 2013 worlds.

She went on social media Monday, saying she was hopeful of winning the medals. But in an emotional video, she said that wouldn't heal all the wounds.

''It's not just the medal,'' she said. ''It's about you putting out honest time, energy and emotion and being cheated out of it. You can't ever get back those moments. You can't replace those feelings that, maybe, I would've been able to experience at the time.''

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