Ireland’s Rob Heffernan will be awarded a bronze medal for his fourth-place finish in the 20km walk at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona after Russia’s Stanislav Emelyanov was stripped of the gold medal due to irregularities in his biological passport.

The IAAF revealed today that Emelyanov, part of a Russian walking organisation rocked by a series of recent doping revelations, will have a ban backdated to 26 July, 2010 – one day before he finished first at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.

The gold medal will controversially go to Italy’s Alex Schwaze, who retired in 2012 after failing a doping test, although sanctions against him weren’t enacted retrospectively.

Joao Vieira of Portugal will be promoted to second in the wake of Emelyanov’s disqualification.

Heffernan, the 2013 50km world champion, is the latest Irish athlete in line to medal after a fellow competitor was discovered to have breached the IAAF’S rules, with Roisin McGettigan and the recently-retired Derval O’Rourke also in strong positions to retrospectively place at major championships.