The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced that Panam Sports has upgraded boxer Naomi Graham to a gold medal for her performances at the 2019 Pan American Games. The medal reallocation is the result of a disqualification ruling or doping offense. [Venezuela's Jessica Caicedo originally won the gold medal but has been stripped of her medal]. With the medal reallocation, Graham becomes the women's middleweight champion at her first Pan American Games. A staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, Graham was named captain of the USA Boxing Team as she continues to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"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.
Two other athletes [in sports other than boxing] also were upgraded under similar circumstances. "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. 18th hosted by USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland, Ilic, Lyons, and features National Governing Body representatives, coaches, teammates, family and friends.