By Nick Butler

Dylan Armstrong of Canada has belatedly been awarded a shot put bronze medal from Beijing 2008 ©AFP/Getty ImagesCanadian shot putter Dylan Armstrong will finally be awarded an Olympic bronze medal from Beijing 2008 following the disqualification of initial third place finisher, Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus, for a failed drugs test.

The Belarussian, who served a two-year doping ban earlier in his career before returning to win a gold medal at the 2003 World Championships in Paris, also won bronze at the 2007 edition in Osaka before finishing in the same position a year later in Beijing,.

He beat Armstrong by just a single centremetre with a mark of 21.05 metres, before winning European gold and World Indoor silver in 2010. 

But, after samples from the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, in which he had finished sixth, were retested, Mikhnevich tested positive again for anabolic steroids and in 2013 he was issued a lifetime ban by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and stripped of all of his results since 2005.

After originally finishing third behind Mikhnevich's second at the 2010 World Indoor Championships, Armstrong was quickly upgraded from bronze to silver, but the process to redistribute the Olympic medal has taken far longer because it needed to be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well as the IAAF.

The Canadian Olympic Committee have now confirmed that the IOC will award Armstrong the bronze, and the 33-year-old will officially receive the bronze medal at a ceremony to be held over coming months.

Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus was initially awarded bronze before being stripped of his medal following his failed drugs test ©AFP/Getty ImagesAndrei Mikhnevich of Belarus (right) was initially awarded bronze before being stripped of his medal following his failed drugs test ©AFP/Getty Images

Another Belarusian shot putter, Nazdeya Ostapchuk, who originally won the London 2012 Olympic title before being stripped of her gold, was also stripped of her 2005 title after her re-tested sample was one of a total of six to test positive at the same time as her compatriots.

Mikhnevich's wife, the 2006 European and World Indoor shot put champion, Natalya, is also currently serving a two-year doping ban after testing positive for Stanozolol.

Armstrong now finds himself in the history books as the first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in shot put and Canada's first Olympic medallist in a throwing event since Stockholm 1912, when Duncan Gillis took silver in the hammer.

The additional medal also raises Canada's total Beijing 2008 medal count to 19, three golds, nine silvers and seven bronze.

This is not the first time a Canadian Olympian has been retrospectively upgraded due to a drugs scandal involving Eastern European athletes.

In 2004 cross-country skier Beckie Scott, who later served as an IOC Athletes' Commission member from 2006 until earlier this year, was upgraded from bronze to gold in the Salt Lake City 2002 2x5 kilometres pursuit event the Russian duo who initially finished ahead of her, Larissa Lazutina and Olga Danilova, each failed tests for darbepoetin.