Egyptian weightlifter Tarek Yehia ranked fourth place in the men’s light-heavyweight 85 kg event at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but he's about to be bumped up to third place.
The silver medal for that category was taken by Russia’s Apti Aukhadov. However, in light of the ongoing doping investigation, it is most likely that Aukhadov’s results be revoked, granting Yehia a well-deserved bronze medal.
The International Weightlifting Federation declared on June 15 that the reanalysis of Apti Aukhadov’s sample from the 2012 Olympics revealed the presence of prohibited substances. Aukhadov is now provisionally suspended, until the IWF announces its verdict concerning the anti-doping rule violation.
According to the IWF’s anti-doping policy , every athlete should make sure no illegal substances enter his or her body. Athletes are thus responsible for the substances found in their samples regardless of how they entered and whether or not it was intentional.
If the IWF decides to strip Aukhadov of his silver Olympic medal, which is bound to happen when the violation is confirmed, Yehia will take the bronze medal, while Iranian Kianoush Rostamo- who originally won bronze- will seize the silver. Additionally, Egyptian Rajab Abdelhay, who was in sixth place, will become fifth.
Chairman of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation Mahmoud Mahgoub stated that the federation is waiting for the IWF’s decision, yet he believes that the ruling will be in favor of the Egyptians.
“It is just a matter of time before the IWF announces Tarek Yehia as the bronze medallist. They are just waiting for [completion of] procedures before the official announcement,” Mahgoub told Ahram Online . “Yehia deserved the medal. He really worked hard during and before the 2012 Olympics and the medal was clinched with a very slight difference (5 kg).”
Yahia is therefore expecting to grab Egypt’s tenth weightlifting Olympic medal, the country’s first since the 1948 London Olympics. Oddly enough, before the halt in weightlifting Olympic success in 1952, most of Egypt’s Olympic medals were attained at the weightlifting events.
In an interview with BBC , Yehia expressed his surprise at how things turned out, believing it was a gift from God. He is motivated to work harder, aiming at Rio 2016, and he expects impressive results from Egypt’s 2016 Olympic weightlifting team.
Yehia is not only a double African record holder, but also a 2015 Arab Championship and 2013 Mediterranean Games gold medallist , 2013 World Championship bronze medallist and 2008 African Championship silver medallist.
Under similar circumstances, Tunisian Habiba Ghribi and Bahraini Maryam Yusuf Jamal – world running champions – were previously awarded a gold and a silver 2012 Olympic medal, respectively, due to doping rulings.