Great Britain bobsleighers return Olympic medals after 'farcical' engraving error

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
GB Bobsleigh team
Joel Fearon, Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and John Jackson finished the competition in fifth place but were promoted to bronze

Great Britain's bobsleighers had to wait nearly six years to officially receive their 2014 Winter Olympic bronze medals - seven weeks later they are returning them.

The GB team initially finished fifth at the Sochi Games, but were upgraded following the disqualification of two Russian sleds for doping offences.

However, moments after the official presentation last month the athletes realised the medals had been engraved incorrectly.

Rather than the correct 'Bobsleigh four-man event' inscription, they instead read 'bobsleigh 4-men event'.

"Receiving the medal nearly six years after the medal ceremony in 2014 was a relief," GB pilot John Jackson told BBC Sport.

"To then realise there was a typo on just summed up the whole farcical situation we had been through.

"After all of the waiting for one of the most prized possessions of any Olympic athlete, when it came to it, the IOC still couldn't get it right."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) were forced to issue new medals after the Russian athletes, who originally won gold at Sochi 2014, refused to return them following their official disqualification.

However, it was not only the British team whose medals were incorrectly engraved with the United States - who moved from bronze to silver - having 'Four-man's bobsleigh' etched onto theirs.

The Americans now have their revised silver medals from the IOC and the British team are expected to receive their new bronze medals in the next couple of weeks.

Bronze medal
The medals mistakenly read "bobsleigh 4 men event"

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