Spanish weightlifter Lidia Valentín’s long wait to receive her re-allocated Olympic medals following the re-testing of samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 looks set to extend into next year.
Valentín, one of the most popular weightlifters within the sport, was promoted to Beijing 2008 silver and London 2012 gold after three dopers ahead of her in the women’s 75 kilograms category were disqualified at both Games.
The 32-year-old was officially upped to first place at London 2012 when the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) approved the new finishing order on December 9 last year.
She had been expecting to receive her Beijing 2008 silver medal at a presentation ceremony in Madrid on December 21, but this has been postponed due to a date clash with the Catalan regional elections.
Spanish Weightlifting Federation President Constantino Iglesias admitted it could be now be January before the ceremony is held.
Nearly 12 months after the London 2012 result, the situation regarding Valentín’s gold medal is still unclear.
"The International Weightlifting Federation has decided about Lidia; they say that she has won the Olympics but now the [International] Olympic Committee has to approve this situation," Iglesias told insidethegames during the 2017 IWF World Championships here.
"There are a few athletes beside Lidia, for example the eighth or ninth-place finishers, and they have to examine these athletes again to close the case and in this moment they will proceed to do so.
"So they need to close the list before saying something."
Valentín, an Olympic bronze medallist at Rio 2016, said in a recent interview: "I want my medals because I have earned them.
"I really want to close this chapter."
Asked whether he was frustrated by the ongoing saga, Iglesias told insidethegames: "The situation is solved and we know that it will arrive.
"It’s just a case of waiting for it and being patient.
"The Spanish [Olympic] Committee knows about the situation and is supporting Lidia and the Federation."
Nine nations, including China and Russia, are missing from this year’s World Championships after incurring one-year bans for multiple doping offences.
The list also includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine.
All nine countries had three or more of the 49 positives revealed when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) re-tested samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Of those 49, all but six came from former Soviet Bloc countries, where the doping culture is most embedded.
Iglesias claimed the decision to ban the nations should have been taken much earlier.
"If they’d been banned five years ago, it would be five years with a different image of weightlifting," he said.
"The [Spanish] Federation is happy, however, because justice has been done with Lidia and she has made history.
The doping scandal has led to the threat of weightlifting losing its Olympic status.
On Saturday (November 25), the IWF Executive Board unanimously approved recommendations made by the Clean Sport and Sports Programme Commissions.
They will form the basis of an IWF submission to the IOC, due to hold its next Executive Board meeting in Lausanne on December 5 and 6, as the world governing body looks to show it has a robust anti-doping strategy in place.
"Weightlifting needs to be clean because otherwise it could be out of the Olympic Movement and without the Olympic Movement, weightlifting will be nothing," Iglesias said.
Valentín is due to compete here in the women’s 75kg category on Sunday (December 3).
She will be aiming to follow up her triumph from the European Championships in Split in April.