One year has passed since Valerie Adams stood on the podium in London ‘s Olympic Stadium, feeling the weight of the silver medal around her neck, of which she knew, it should have been gold. She should have been the one standing at the top step, listening to her national anthem and feeling the undeniable pride of being an Olympic Champion.
But that moment was taken away from the reigning World Champion by a drugs cheat, Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk, who was later stripped off the gold medal after being tested positive for anabolic steroids.
With the pain of losing out on one of the most glorious moments in an athlete’s career, something that cannot be passed on, like a gold medal, Adams doesn’t make a secret of her anger towards Ostapchuk: “When I found out [that she tested positive], I was pissed off. I was really, really angry towards her. A lot of emotions went through me, I was sad and depressed.
“The worst thing about it for me was that she took the moment away. That ‘s probably what hurts the most and I will never forgive her for that. She ‘s tainted the sport, she ‘s tainted our event and it ‘s something she shouldn ‘t have done. I have no sympathy for her whatsoever.”
Ahead of this weekend’s London Anniversary Games, Adams admits that she will be entering the Olympic Stadium with mixed emotions: “Obviously there’s mixed feelings coming back, but I’m happy to be here in London to get to enjoy the atmosphere on a different level.
“It’s one way for me to close the book on what happened in London last year. It will motivate me to win this weekend.”
With the World Championships in Moscow coming up in a few weeks’ time, Adams will go into the competition as the defending champion. Having already shown that she’s in good shape throughout the season she explains: “All my niggles are under control and I am better now than I was four weeks ago.
“It isn’t an easy job to do, I know that coming into the World Champs. This year there’s already three girls who have thrown over 20m.”
Two of the women who have thrown over 20m this season will be competing in London tomorrow as well, so the Anniversary Games might already give us a little taster for what is to come at Worlds.