Rob Heffernan in line to be upgraded to an Olympic bronze medal from London 2012

The Cork athlete finished fourth in the 50km race in London

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Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Former World Champion Rob Heffernan looks set to add an Olympic medal to his collection.

The Cork athlete finished fourth in the men's 50 kilometre walk in London but looks set to be upgraded to bronze after Russian gold medalist Sergey Kirdyapkin's appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was upheld.

Kirdyapkin was banned in January 2015 over irregularities in his blood passport. Originally, the Russian has his results annulled between periods in 2009 and 2012 but that did not include the period of his Olympic triumph.

The IAAF brought the bans to CAS in the hope of making the suspensions run for one consistent period and the results were confirmed on Thursday morning.

Kirdyapkin along with five other Russian athletes had their bans upheld by CAS. "All competitive results obtained by Mr Sergey Kirdyapkin from 20 August 2009 to 15 October 2012 are disqualified" was the concise statement regarding the Olympic champion.

As Kirdyapkin's fate is now known, it remains to be confirmed about Heffernan's promotion to a bronze medal. Currently, only five Irish athletes have won a medal in an athletics discipline. Heffernan is in line to make history and join that elite club.