Kelly Sotherton says cloud has lifted after receiving Beijing bronze medal

Kelly Sotherton waited 10 years for her Olympic medal

Britain's Kelly Sotherton says "the cloud has lifted" after finally receiving her Olympic bronze medal from the Beijing Games in 2008.

The 41-year-old has been upgraded from fifth to third in the heptathlon after two rivals failed drugs tests.

Sotherton was awarded her medal at Thursday's Team GB Ball in London.

She told BBC Sport she felt "happy, sad, angry and bitter" before receiving the medal, but added "I always knew in my heart this medal was mine".

Wearing the bronze medal around her neck on the red carpet of the British Olympic team event, Sotherton revealed she usually keeps her medals in a sock drawer.

"But this one won't be in my sock drawer, because this is the one I have been waiting for for a long time."

She originally finished fifth in the heptathlon in Beijing, but was finally assured a medal in December, when Russia's Tatyana Chernova - who had been upgraded from fourth to third - failed in her appeal against a retrospective doping ban.

Ukraine's Lyudmila Blonska was stripped of her silver medal in the immediate aftermath of the competition in China after testing positive for an anabolic steroid.

Kelly Sotherton
Sotherton joins America's Hyleas Fountain and Ukraine's Nataliya Dobrynska as a Beijing 2008 heptathlon medallist

She had previously been banned for two years in 2003. In 2007, Sotherton said she was still suspicious of her rival.

Speaking earlier on Thursday, she told BBC Radio 5 live that Blonska appeared to be cheating during the competition at Beijing 2008.

"In the long jump, there were two empty vials left by her bag. I saw her take something and I saw her husband (and coach) pass her something, which you are not allowed to do," said Sotherton.

"I took those bottles and gave them to my team management, who subsequently gave them to the organisers.

"It is so brazen but you don't want to be called bitter when you come fourth or fifth.

"It niggled me all the way through from Beijing until I found out I was getting a medal."

It is the second medal from Beijing 2008 that Sotherton has received in retrospect.

Kelly Sotherton
Nicola Sanders, Marilyn Okoro, Kerlly Sotherton and Christine Ohuruogu are awarded their relay medals at the London Stadium

She - along with Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro and Nicola Sanders - were awarded 4x400m relay bronze medals at this summer's Anniversary Games after being upgraded following doping by the Russian and Belarusian teams.

Sotherton, who retired in May 2012, also won heptathlon bronze at Athens 2004.

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