Robbie Grabarz: British high jumper loses Olympic bronze while waiting for silver

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BBC Sport – Olympics
Robbie Grabarz (second from right) has been promoted to silver along with two other athletes

Former British high jumper Robbie Grabarz says he lost his 2012 Olympic bronze medal while preparing for it get an upgraded silver next summer.

The International Olympic Committee reassigned the results last week, with Russian Ivan Ukhov taking his gold after taking part in Russia state sponsored doping program.

“They reclaimed the bronze, but I actually couldn’t find it,” said Grabarz, who retired in 2018.

“I have to look for it carefully.”

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

He says he needs to write to the IOC to let them know that if they find the medal they can get the medal back.

“I need to keep it safe at all times – and between safe places and moving I literally couldn’t come across it,” Grabarz told BBC Look East.

“I do think there are probably some hectic emails saying, ‘He can’t find it’.”

“I was on the podium, I got this moment”

Grabarz, 25 years old at the time of the 2012 Olympics, is philosophical about his own situation but empathizes with the athletes who have been robbed of their moment of glory.

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

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

However, he has wondered how things could have turned out if Ukhov hadn’t doped.

“There is obviously the psychological effect of looking at us and saying, ‘I know, scientifically, I’m taller than you because I did my body,'” added Cambridgeshire’s Grabarz.

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

“Your earnings, performance fees, whatever it is – they would all have been just a little more.”

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