GB earn bobsleigh gold upgrade

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June 30, 2021
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    Lamin Deen, Ben Simons, Toby Olubi and Andrew Matthews in action at the Pyeongchang Winter OlympicsDeen, Simons, Olubi and Matthews represented GB at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

    British Bobsleigh have been retrospectively awarded their first-ever World Cup four-man gold medal.

    It comes after a Russian crew was disqualified for doping offences.

    The GB team of Lamin Deen, Ben Simons, Toby Olubi and Andrew Matthews originally finished second at the Whistler World Cup in November 2017.

    But Russia's Alexander Kasjanov was subsequently found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and his team's results have been cancelled.

    "Being the first to do anything is fantastic so there's a feeling of satisfaction and of pride," said Deen.

    Britain's 2014 Olympic four-man team of John Jackson, Joel Fearon, Bruce Tasker and Stu Benson were retrospectively awarded an Olympic bronze for the Sochi Games after the disqualification of two Russian crews because of doping offenses in 2019.

    The removal of Kasjanov's results means Deen, Matthews, Fearon and John Baines are now also bronze medallists from the World Cup race in Lake Placid in January 2016.

    Deen who competed at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Games and piloted GB to a fifth-place finish at the 2015 World Championships added: "I was proud of myself and my team on the day in Whistler regardless after breaking the track record, setting the world speed record and winning silver, but to now know it's gold makes it even more memorable.

    "Whistler is one of the hardest and most demanding tracks in the world so to do it there makes it even more special.

    "It'll go down in history but it's also a huge boost moving forward. I know it was a few years ago now but it shows that the top step of the podium is possible. Hopefully we can replicate that in the coming season and at the Olympic Games."

    British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association chair Joanna Poulton added: "Winning a gold medal is something that very few athletes get to experience and, while it's disappointing that they didn't get to stand on the top step of the podium at the time, it's good to know that they are now being recognised for that achievement.

    "We have written to the IBSF [International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation] requesting that they – and the team that won bronze in Lake Placid in 2016 – receive new medals as a matter of priority."

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