Morden 400m athlete Fidelis Gadzama finally wins Olympic gold 13 years after being cheated

Wimbledon Guardian: Fidelis Gadzama with Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council. Fidelis Gadzama with Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council.

An Olympic athlete has finally received his gold medal 13 years after his team was cheated out of first by an athlete later found to be using drugs.

Fidelis Gadzama, of Alexandra Square in Morden, competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics as part of the men’s 400m relay team which came second to the USA.

The US team was later stripped of their gold medals after Antonio Pettigrew admitted using performance enhancing drugs in 2008.

Mr Gadzama, 33, travelled to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, last month to finally receive his medal 13 years after his team’s winning race.

He said: "It was an amazing feeling. We fought for it for a long time.

"One of the team tested positive but they were still defiant.

"But when Michael Johnson handed over his own medal that is when we knew that it was inevitable and that our medals would be given.

"It was my first Olympics and was very happy to be part of it."

In the original race Jamaica finished third and the Bahamas fourth.

Mr Fidelis added: "I was honoured to collect my gold medal from the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, in a wonderful ceremony with my other colleagues in the 400m relay squad.

"It means a lot to me and to my family "I now want to use my links in the world of athletics to help others to take up sporting activities in Merton."

Mr Gadzama left African athletics in 2007 when he moved to the UK to join the British Navy where he helped deliver fitness training for navy personnel.

Four years later he was forced to step down on medical grounds after the reappearance of an old injury.

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, leader of Merton Council, said "When I heard about Fidelis and his 13 year battle for his gold medal I wanted to learn more about this Olympian living in our midst in Morden.

"He is a truly modest man but very keen to be a role model especially for the youngsters of this borough.

"That is why I will be introducing him to our schools and to the sports community of Merton."

 

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Comments (7)

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4:09pm Wed 4 Sep 13

tjames says...

What bs just chasing ethnic votes
What bs just chasing ethnic votes tjames

11:45am Fri 6 Sep 13

Michael Barltrop says...

How can tjames say that Stephen Alambritis is chasing ethnic votes? Wrong century, pal. This is post-Olympics London in the 21st century and we are all equal. Also, ever heard of DNA? There are no ethnics. Unique in the animal kingdom there is only one actual species of homo sapiens. Only one. It's called the human race. Also, ever heard of the Labour Party? Evidently not, because every year Labour elects more representatives from so-called ethnic minorities than any other political party. Which is why Stephen leads the most successful council in Great Britain. And he's from Cyprus!
How can tjames say that Stephen Alambritis is chasing ethnic votes? Wrong century, pal. This is post-Olympics London in the 21st century and we are all equal. Also, ever heard of DNA? There are no ethnics. Unique in the animal kingdom there is only one actual species of homo sapiens. Only one. It's called the human race. Also, ever heard of the Labour Party? Evidently not, because every year Labour elects more representatives from so-called ethnic minorities than any other political party. Which is why Stephen leads the most successful council in Great Britain. And he's from Cyprus! Michael Barltrop

11:58am Fri 6 Sep 13

tjames says...

the most successful--how much are you paid to write this bilge
the most successful--how much are you paid to write this bilge tjames

11:59am Fri 6 Sep 13

tjames says...

i see you are a labour supporter
i see you are a labour supporter tjames

12:13pm Fri 6 Sep 13

Michael Barltrop says...

Actually I just think that we should just try to get on with each other a bit better. Is all. Half the world is trying to blow up the other half and the only beacon of sanity left is this country. We are the only hope left so we better get this right. We have the opportunity to set an example. It has always been us. It's our destiny. It's the reason we exist. Now more so after the Olympics. By us I don't mean Labour I mean us. Every time someone like Fidelis gets it right he gets it right for all of us. Because each time one more barrier comes down. And each we get one day closer to fixing this crazy planet.
Actually I just think that we should just try to get on with each other a bit better. Is all. Half the world is trying to blow up the other half and the only beacon of sanity left is this country. We are the only hope left so we better get this right. We have the opportunity to set an example. It has always been us. It's our destiny. It's the reason we exist. Now more so after the Olympics. By us I don't mean Labour I mean us. Every time someone like Fidelis gets it right he gets it right for all of us. Because each time one more barrier comes down. And each we get one day closer to fixing this crazy planet. Michael Barltrop

12:13pm Fri 6 Sep 13

Michael Barltrop says...

Actually I just think that we should just try to get on with each other a bit better. Is all. Half the world is trying to blow up the other half and the only beacon of sanity left is this country. We are the only hope left so we better get this right. We have the opportunity to set an example. It has always been us. It's our destiny. It's the reason we exist. Now more so after the Olympics. By us I don't mean Labour I mean us. Every time someone like Fidelis gets it right he gets it right for all of us. Because each time one more barrier comes down. And each we get one day closer to fixing this crazy planet.
Actually I just think that we should just try to get on with each other a bit better. Is all. Half the world is trying to blow up the other half and the only beacon of sanity left is this country. We are the only hope left so we better get this right. We have the opportunity to set an example. It has always been us. It's our destiny. It's the reason we exist. Now more so after the Olympics. By us I don't mean Labour I mean us. Every time someone like Fidelis gets it right he gets it right for all of us. Because each time one more barrier comes down. And each we get one day closer to fixing this crazy planet. Michael Barltrop

12:13pm Fri 6 Sep 13

Michael Barltrop says...

Actually I just think that we should just try to get on with each other a bit better. Is all. Half the world is trying to blow up the other half and the only beacon of sanity left is this country. We are the only hope left so we better get this right. We have the opportunity to set an example. It has always been us. It's our destiny. It's the reason we exist. Now more so after the Olympics. By us I don't mean Labour I mean us. Every time someone like Fidelis gets it right he gets it right for all of us. Because each time one more barrier comes down. And each we get one day closer to fixing this crazy planet.
Actually I just think that we should just try to get on with each other a bit better. Is all. Half the world is trying to blow up the other half and the only beacon of sanity left is this country. We are the only hope left so we better get this right. We have the opportunity to set an example. It has always been us. It's our destiny. It's the reason we exist. Now more so after the Olympics. By us I don't mean Labour I mean us. Every time someone like Fidelis gets it right he gets it right for all of us. Because each time one more barrier comes down. And each we get one day closer to fixing this crazy planet. Michael Barltrop

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