Robbie Grabarz: British high jumper loses Olympic bronze medal as he awaits upgraded silver

Robbie Grabarz (second from right) celebrates with other medal-winning athletes
Robbie Grabarz (second from right) has been promoted to silver along with two other athletes

Former British high jumper Robbie Grabarz says he has lost his 2012 Olympic bronze medal as he prepares to receive an upgraded silver next summer.

The International Olympic Committee last week reallocated results, with Russia’s Ivan Ukhov stripped of his gold after participating in Russia’s state-sponsored doping programme.

“They’ve requested the bronze back but I’ve actually not been able to find it,” said Grabarz, who retired in 2018.

“I must have a good rummage for it.”

American Erik Kynard will now get gold, while Grabarz, 34, has been upgraded to silver along with Canada’s Derek Drouin and Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim – nine years after the Games in London.

He says he will have to put it in writing to the IOC that if he does find the medal, they can have it back.

“I’ve got to keep it secure at all times – and between safe places and moving about I literally have not been able to come across it,” Grabarz told BBC Look East.

“I think already there’s probably some frantic emails going around saying ‘he can’t find it’.”

‘I was on the podium, I got that moment’

Grabarz, 25 at the time of the 2012 Olympics, is philosophical about his own situation but feels for the athletes who had their moment of glory taken away from them.

“I’m glad I didn’t come fourth,” he said. “I was on the podium, I got that moment.

“I’m also quite glad I wasn’t promoted from silver to gold because I think that would’ve been really difficult to handle – that would be soul destroying, I think.”

However, he has considered how things might have panned out had Ukhov not been doping.

“There’s obviously the psychological repercussions that he can look at us and go ‘I actually know, scientifically, I’m greater than you, because of what I’ve done to my body’,” added Grabarz, from Cambridgeshire.

“The whole dynamic of the competition would’ve been different, because it wouldn’t have been dominated by him.

“Your earnings, appearance fees, whatever it might be – they all just would’ve been a little bit more.”

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