Valerie Adams seeks her Olympic gold medal at IOC
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By GRAHAM DUNBAR,
Updated August 23, 2012
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Valerie Adams is the only champion from the London Olympics who never received a gold medal - and she's going to see about that Friday.
The shot put winner said Thursday she will hand over her silver at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, and find out about getting the gold that was taken by disgraced rival Nadzeya Ostapchuk.
Ostapchuk tested positive for a banned steroid and was disqualified in the biggest doping scandal at the London Games.
However, the Belarus athlete has pledged to appeal, making Adams wait for her prize.
"I don't care what she does. I'm giving back my silver medal to get the gold," Adams told reporters after winning her event at the Athletissima Diamond League event, close by the IOC offices.
"It's been a roller-coaster ride for me since London. It's been not the easiest," the 27-year-old New Zealander acknowledged.
Adams went to the Olympics strongly favored to defend her title, and as a three-time world champion.
Yet Ostapchuk upset the form book beating Adams. Ostapchuk has denied that her performance was enhanced by drugs.
"A lot of people asked a lot of questions of her," Adams said Thursday, her pleasure in victory mixed with obvious frustration at Ostapchuk's behavior. "She can appeal as much as she wants. I don't want to waste any more breath or time on her.
"I'm here, I'm the Olympic champion whether she likes it or not and that's the truth. That's just it."
Adams had wanted to receive her gold in Lausanne, where her winning effort was 25 centimeters better than her best in London.
"Tonight I wanted to go out there, have fun, win the competition and have a smile on my face," said Adams, who trains in Switzerland and regards Athletissima and the Weltklasse meet in Zurich next week as home fixtures.
She would be happy to receive her medal when 26,000 fans pack the Letzigrund stadium at Zurich next Thursday - even if it falls short of the podium moment she lost before 80,000 spectators in London.
"I want it in a stadium full of people because that is where our support is," she said. "But if it doesn't all happen, there will be somewhere in New Zealand with a whole bunch of New Zealanders, and 4 million people will be able to enjoy it."