Nelson finally takes victory lap for 2004 gold

Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:52pm EDT

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(Reuters) - American shot putter Adam Nelson took a victory lap for his 2004 Olympic gold medal on Sunday nine years after the Athens Games.

The 37-year-old Nelson, now retired, was elevated to the gold medal in May after original winner Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine was stripped of the win for a doping violation following the retesting of his 2004 sample.

"Hopefully the message here is it does pay to do it the right way," Nelson said after receiving a wreath and flowers and the playing of the U.S. anthem as he stood on the U.S. championships podium at Des Moines, Iowa.

"It may not pay right away, but over the long term, you have always got your integrity and eventually that will pay off," he said with his wife and two daughters at his side.

A total of five Athens medallists have had their results annulled since last year when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) target-tested some 100 samples using more modern methods.

The IOC stores samples for eight years to allow for retesting for newly-discovered substances or for substances for which there was no test available at the time.

(Editing by Larry Fine)

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