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Canadian shot putter finally gets Beijing bronze

(Reuters) - Canadian Dylan Armstrong will be awarded the shot put bronze from the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a result of a lifetime doping ban handed to Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Thursday

Almost six years after finishing fourth by a single centimeter at the Beijing Games, Armstrong was finally confirmed as the third place finisher when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended Mikhnevich for life following a second doping offence and annulled his results dating back to the 2005 Helsinki world championships.

"I'm totally thrilled that I will receive the 2008 Olympic Games bronze medal that I worked very hard for," said Armstrong in a statement released by Athletics Canada. "Winning an Olympic medal was a major goal and childhood dream since I was nine.

"Missing the medal in 2008 by a single centimeter was tough. On a positive note I will say it definitely provided me more determination and drive, helping me achieve more medals at major championships."

The sanction levied on Mikhnevich also resulted in Armstrong receiving the bronze medal from the 2010 world indoor championships.

(Refiles to fix dateline. No change to copy)

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Gene Cherry)

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