South Dakotan pole vaulter receives medal from 2008 Olympics

April 18, 2017

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) — An assistant track coach at the University of South Dakota has been awarded a bronze medal for pole vaulting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after the original winner was disqualified for doping.

Derek Miles, a three-time Olympian, placed fourth in the pole vaulting event in 2008. He reached the same height as Denys Yurchenko, but the Ukrainian won the bronze because he made fewer attempts.

Miles received his medal in a ceremony Monday.

Yurchenko was among several athletes who were stripped last year of their 2008 Olympic medals after the International Olympic Committee found banned substances during retesting.

Yurchenko initially refused to give up the medal. U.S. Sen. John Thune worked with the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the US Olympic Committee, to ensure Miles received the medal.