TOYOTA, Aichi Pref. – Koji Murofushi had mixed emotions Friday on belatedly earning a medal for the second straight Olympics after two Belarusian hammer throwers were stripped of their silver and bronze medals for doping offenses at this year’s Beijing Games.
Murofushi finished fifth in Beijing but will be awarded the bronze after the International Olympic Committee executive board on Thursday ruled against Vadim Devyatovskiy and Ivan Tsikhan, who both tested positive for abnormal levels of testosterone after the Aug. 17 hammer throw final in the Chinese capital.
Speaking at a news conference Friday, Murofushi, who received the gold at the 2004 Athens Games after Hungary’s Adrian Annus was disqualified for doping, said, “It’s a real honor to get a medal in two straight Olympics.”
“But it is sad that this has come about because of doping. These were buddies I competed together with so it is incredibly disappointing,” added the 34-year-old.
“This (doping problem) is something the sports world really needs to tackle. It has to be thought of as a very serious problem,” Murofushi added before turning his attention to the 2012 London Olympics.
“As soon as Beijing had finished I was thinking about what to do next. I want to savor the Olympic atmosphere again.”
Krisztian Pars of Hungary, who finished fourth in Beijing, will be awarded the silver medal.
Murofushi is the third Japanese to win back-to-back Olympic athletics medals following Shuhei Nishida, who took home silvers in the men’s pole vault in 1932 and 1936, and Yuko Arimori, who won silver in 1992 and bronze in 1996 in the women’s marathon.