By Tom Degun
May 10 - British Judo have expressed their frustration that the International Judo Federation (ITF) will not award Karina Bryant the gold medal for the Rotterdam 2009 World Championships despite China’s Tong Wen being stripped of her title due to doping.
Tong, the Beijing Olympic gold medallist, who has been banned for two years for the doping offence, beat Bryant in the final of the 78-kilogram category in Rotterdam by Ippon to clinch her fourth consecutive world title.
However, after testing positive at the Championships for clenbuterol, the IJF made the decision at its Council meeting in Tunis to strip 27-year-old of the title.
But controversially, the IJF have decided not to award the gold medal to Bryant despite the Briton claiming the silver behind Tong.
British Judo's head coach Patrick Roux admitted that he was disappointed that Bryant had not been reallocated the gold particularly since the IJF have reallocated the gold medal in similar cases in the past.
Roux told insidethegames: "Obviously we are disappointed that Karina has not been awarded the gold medal.
"It is very difficult to accept that some players still fight against the doping control.
"But we understand the IJF’s decision as in judo it is not so easy to replace one medallist by another, even though they have done so previously.
"Tong’s first fights within the Championships would have to have been taken into consideration."
The decision means that Bryant, a 31-year-old Londoner, has been denied her first-ever World Championship title having previously won a total of four silver medals at the World Championships in 2001, 2003 and 2005.
Tong’s ban is due to end in September 2011 but she will still miss London 2012 under a new International Olympic Committee (IOC) rule that prevents anyone competing in the Games who has tested positive since the last Olympics.
That will help boost Bryant's chances of success in London.
Roux said: "We expect a clean competition in judo at the London 2012 Olympics.
"The IJF has a big responsibility at the moment, and what I agree with is that this is a permanent battle."
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May 2010: Chinese Olympic gold medallist banned for two years for doping