Bobsleigh-U.S. sledder Holcomb gets posthumous Olympic silver medals

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - The late U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb has been confirmed as a double Olympic silver medallist, five years on from the 2014 Sochi Games, after Russian winners were stripped of gold for doping.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed the reallocation of medals from the four and two-man bob after the exhaustion of appeals.

Russia’s Alexander Zubkov was stripped of his two golds by the IOC in 2017 but had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Holcomb, who piloted the U.S. four-man ‘Night Train’ bobsled to gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, died unexpectedly in May 2017 at the age of 37.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said the upgraded medals will be presented to the athletes and Holcomb’s family in a ceremony at a date to be arranged.

“It’s unfortunate that our results were not official in February of 2014 and that we’ve had to endure the long process to see justice finally served,” said team mates Chris Fogt, Steve Langton, and Curt Tomasevicz.

“We are happy that we now can celebrate and be proud of the silver medal accomplishments.”

The reallocation means Latvia won the four-man gold while Britain are promoted to bronze -- taking their Sochi tally to five medals and equalling Pyeongchang 2018 as the country’s most successful Winter Games.

“Recognition from the IOC of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic four-man bobsleigh result is a big step forward to us receiving our Olympic bronze medal,” said Britain’s John Jackson, whose team mates were Stuart Benson, Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon, in a Team GB statement on Thursday.

“Disappointingly, it is a medal we should have received on an Olympic podium in 2014. Cheats have cost us that moment, along with other nations too.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Alexander Smith)