Shalane Flanagan Receives 2008 Olympic Silver Medal After Turkish Athlete Caught Doping
Four-time U.S. Olympian Shalane Flanagan has received her 2008 Olympic silver medal after Turkish runner Elvan Abeylegesse tested positive for a performance enhancing drug in a re-testing of the doping samples from the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka.
The United States Olympic Committee and USA Track and Field received confirmation that Flanagan received her silver medal at her home in Portland, Ore. on Monday morning.
“Receiving my proper medal and having the record books changed is a dream come true,” Flanagan said in a statement. “I greatly appreciate the USOC’s efforts to host a more formal medal ceremony in my honor, but with my coach and my family, I have decided to forego that option and instead celebrate in private. This news, and receiving my medal, are all that I need to feel incredibly fulfilled and happy. I’m honored and proud to officially be the 2008 10,000-meter silver medalist.”
Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won gold in 29:54.66 with Abeylegesse finishing second in 29:56.34. Flanagan was third in 30:22:22, which stood as the American record until it was broken by Molly Huddle in 2016. Kenya's Linet Chepkwemoi Masai finished fourth in 30:26.50.
“The U.S. Olympic Committee would like to extend its congratulations to Shalane for her outstanding performance in Beijing,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in the press release. “As one of our country’s most decorated distance runners, we commend her for her success on the field of play, as well as her conduct off the field of play. She epitomizes the Olympic values with her integrity, sportsmanship and unwavering dedication to competitive excellence. On behalf of athletes like Shalane, the USOC is committed to working tirelessly with the global Olympic Movement to help reform international anti-doping efforts.”
Flanagan competed at last summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and placed sixth in the marathon. She is the second-fastest American marathoner of all-time with her 2:21:14 from the 2014 Berlin Marathon.