The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced that Panam Sports has upgraded boxer Naomi Graham and karate athlete Kamran Madani to gold medals, and open water swimmer Taylor Abbott to the silver medal, for their performances at the Pan American Games Lima 2019. The medal reallocations are a result of three athletes receiving disqualification rulings for doping offenses and having their medal wins revoked.
“I’m overjoyed to be upgraded to the gold medal and to be named the Pan American champion,” said Graham. “Thank you to the United States Army for the continuous support so I am able to compete at such a high level while still serving my country. I would also like to thank the USOPC and Panam Sports for their commitment to clean and fair sport, and congratulations to Taylor [Abbott] and Kamran [Madani] on their sport success and upgraded Pan American medals as well.”
With the medal reallocation, Graham becomes the women’s middleweight champion at her first Pan American Games. A staff sergeant and U.S. Army World Class Athlete, Graham was named captain of the USA Boxing Team as she continues to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Madani also becomes a Pan American champion, earning the upgrade to the gold medal in the men’s
-84 kg. kumite event, continuing a long tradition of American success since the sport’s introduction to the Pan American Games in 1995. Abbott, who swam for the University of Tennessee in college, earns the silver medal in the men’s 10-kilometer open water swim.
“On behalf of the USOPC, I congratulate these terrific athletes on their performances in Lima. While we regret it is not possible to give them back their celebratory moment at the Pan American Games, we are thrilled to honor them today,” said USOPC President Susanne Lyons. “Doping has no place in the Olympic and Paralympic movements, and we will continue to work diligently until we can ensure athletes around the world are competing fairly. Today we are one step closer towards the equitable playing field our athletes – and all athletes – deserve.”
“It’s imperative that every athlete is competing in a clean and fair environment, and I’m proud of Panam Sports and the USOPC for standing strong in that commitment,” said Panam Sports President Neven Ilic. “I send my sincere congratulations to Naomi [Graham], Kamran [Madani] and Taylor [Abbott] for their medals and thank them for their outstanding performances in Lima last year.”
The medals will be presented to the athletes in a virtual medal ceremony on Nov. 18 hosted by USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland, Ilic, Lyons, and features National Governing Body representatives, coaches, teammates, family and friends.