Trinidad and Tobago were initially awarded silver medals in 2008 but upgraded to gold after a doping violation ©Getty Images

The Trinidad and Tobago men’s 4x100 metres relay team from Beijing 2008 have finally been presented with their gold medals for the race in a reallocation ceremony held in Lausanne.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach made the presentation to Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callander, Marc Burns and Aaron Armstrong, accompanied by Trinidad and Tobago National Olympic Committee President Diane Henderson.

"I am sure now that you can really feel the pure joy and satisfaction and you have the final confirmation that you won this Olympic final, you won this Olympic race, that you won this Olympic gold medal in Beijing by clean and fair athletes and role models, not only for the young generation in Trinidad and Tobago, but for the athletes around the world," Bach said.

"Nobody in the Olympic Movement and in particular not the IOC, accepted the result from Beijing at the time and forgot about everything, we took the necessary precautions to make sure that cheaters can never feel safe," Bach explained.

The result was changed after re-testing had revealed the presence of a banned substance in the sample of Nesta Carter.

In 2008 the Jamaican quartet of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater and Carter had crossed the line first in 37.10 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago who clocked 38.06.

Carter’s sample showed traces of the banned substance methylhexaneamine.

He made an unsuccessful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the medals were then reallocated.

The presentation was to have taken place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but this proved impossible because of COVID-19 precautions.

"All of us and you would have preferred to have had this ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in Beijing 2008 and to share this feeling immediately after your victory, to enjoy it in the emotional moments after having crossed the finish line first," Bach suggested.

He commended the quartet for their "fairness and patience," before the medals were reallocated. 

"Finally justice is being done," Bach said.

"In sport anyway, we should look at the bright side of life, there are two parts of justice, one is to catch and sanction the cheats but this is not the ultimate goal of what we are doing and what we intend to do, our ultimate goal is to protect you, to protect the clean athletes and sanctioning the cheats is only a means to this end," he declared.

The IOC President had won his own Olympic gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics in fencing. 

"I don’t know how it was for you but my feeling with the gold medal was you do not really realise what you just did, you don’t realise that it was a life changing moment," he said.

Members of the sprinters' families were also in the audience.

"When we now award you this gold medal, it means we want to show our respect for you, for what you have been going through for 14 years," Bach assured the team as he made the presentation.