14 Aug 2012

Minister has special NZ ceremony in mind

2:09 pm on 14 August 2012

Sport Minister Murray McCully says there are plans for a ceremony to celebrate Valerie Adams's belated Olympics gold medal win, but it may be some time before she actually receives the medal.

The champion shot-putter learned on Monday night that she'd gone from second-place silver to gold, after her Belarussian rival, Nadzeya Ostapchuk, tested positive for drugs.

Urine samples indicated the presence of metenolone, which is classified as a prohibited anabolic steroid.

Mr McCully says he was delighted to hear the news, and has been texting Adams to congratulate her.

He says he would have loved to see her win at the Games, and celebrate on the podium. Instead he is working with the New Zealand Olympic Committee to organise a celebration back here, once Ostapchuk relinquishes the medal and Adams returns home.

"I know Valerie's got to compete in seven more competitions before she comes home," the minister says. "She's not back here currently until October.

"So I'm talking to her management and we'll work out something that's going to be suitable in the circumstances... I think a lot of New Zealanders would want to see her given due ceremony."

Why not at an All Blacks test? - Weepu

All Blacks halfback Piri Weepu says Adams deserves to receive her gold medal in front of a crowd that rivals the Olympics and what better place to do that than at an All Blacks test match.

The International Olympic Committee says the gold medal will be retrieved from Belarus and given to the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

It says Adams is expected to get the actual medal awarded to Ostapchuk but if it is not returned for any reason, the committee has 25 spare gold ones available.

Manager Nick Cowan says Adams, who is based in Switzerland, is due back in New Zealand in late September.