Kelly Sotherton receives third Olympic bronze medal, 10 years after Beijing Games

Team GB heptathlete Kelly Sotherton receives her bronze medal from the 2008 Olympics at the Team GB Ball. Luke Walker/Getty Images

Three-time Olympic bronze medalist Kelly Sotherton has told ESPN that Russia needs to "pay a price" for its history of doping offences and should not be brought back into the fold by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Sotherton, 41, is a victim of Russian doping and finally received her bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the annual Team GB Ball on Thursday evening.

WADA could decide to reinstate Russia at its executive committee meeting next week, even though the country has failed to comply with the conditions of its return.

After initially finishing fifth in the women's heptathlon, Sotherton was upgraded two places to third following the disqualification of Ukraine's Lyudmila Blonska and Russia's Tatyana Chernova -- both due to doping offences.

Although Blonska was banned immediately after the race, Chernova wasn't stripped of her place until late last year, after the Russian's appeal against the punishment was dismissed.

And it wasn't until Thursday night that Sotherton was finally awarded with her third Olympic medal, 10 years on from Beijing. Speaking to ESPN, Sotherton described the "suffering, pain and disappointment" she had been through since the Games and said it would send the wrong message if Russia were reinstated next week.

"It would be completely discouraging," Sotherton said. "Obviously its not everyone who has been cheating but the country needs to pay a price. At least show some remorse, put their hands up and apologise. There needs to be bigger consequences and that means they need to remain banned."

Sotherton also said she has yet to receive an apology from WADA or the International Olympic Committee for what she has been through over the last decade. When the news broke that Chernova had finally been stripped of her place, Sotherton didn't hear from either of the bodies directly, but found out after seeing the story on twitter.

"Something has to change," she said. "Whether it's people [within WADA and the IOC] or the processes -- as long as it's a positive outcome for the athletes. We've got to think about the next generation coming through watching this. 11-year-olds watching this, do they really want to be part of a sport where you can finish fifth and not know if you're the winner?"

Just hours earlier, several leading British athletes, including Sotherton and Winter Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold, signed a letter to WADA calling for the body to uphold Russia's ban, saying they believe it would be "a catastrophe for clean sport" if the country was reinstated next week.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has so far failed to meet the conditions of the Russian Roadmap, such as publicly accepting the reported outcomes of the McLaren Investigation and allowing access to their Moscow laboratory.

"Until the country actually ticks every single box, not just one or two, they shouldn't be allowed," Sotherton added. "I think there has to be some remorse. As athletes we want WADA to be tough and stick to it and be strong, for the sake of clean sport."

Sotherton retrospectively received her second of three Olympic bronze medals earlier this summer at the London Anniversary Games, when the British team of Sotherton, Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro and Nicola Sanders were elevated to third after Belarus and Russia were disqualified from the 2008 Beijing women's 4x400m relay. She also won bronze in the heptathlon in Athens in 2004.

"Tonight ends a chapter of a career that's gone on six years too long," Sotherton said. "I retired in 2012 but I'm still winning medals. My journey from now will be making sure we never allow this again. We're never going to stop cheating but what we want to do is ensure that we don't wait 10 years for medals."