FORMER Trowbridge-based four-man bobsleigh pilot John Jackson admitted he "cried for five minutes" after learning he and his team-mates are set to land retrospective Winter Olympic bronze medals.

Great Britain's Jackson, along with Joel Fearon, Stuart Benson and Bruce Tasker, finished fifth at Sochi 2014, but the disqualification of two Russian crews which finished above them means that pending appeal the British team will be upgraded to third place.

The International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday that it had disqualified three members of the fourth-placed Russian crew, led by Alexander Kasjanov, as a result of the findings of the Oswald Commission hearings into state-sponsored doping during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The move follows the stripping of the Alexander Zubkov's gold medal-winning sled in similar circumstances last week, and means that Great Britain is set to take a fifth medal from Sochi, making it the most successful Winter Games in the nation's history.

Jackson, who previously lived at Paxcroft Mead with British women's pilot Paula Walker, while training at the University of Bath and now lives in Exmouth: "I've just sat down and cried for the last five minutes - that's how emotional it feels.

"I thought I'd got my head round it - that we missed out and we can't go back - but it's just hit me how hard we worked and how much we put into the season to achieve that goal.

"We'll never get on the Olympic podium, but it's all about the memories of that process. To be part of what will hopefully now be Britain's most successful Winter Olympic team is a great feeling."

Jackson, a former Royal Marines commando who steered his team to within 0.11 of the podium in Sochi, retired after the Games, but team-mates Tasker and Fearon are both still part of the current squad hoping to win more medals in Pyeongchang next year.

In a statement, the IOC said: "Today, the International Olympic Committee has published new decisions from the Oswald Commission hearings, which are being conducted in the context of the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic doping investigations.

"As a result, three Russian bobsledders, Alexander Kasjanov, Aleksei Pushkarev and Ilvir Khuzin, have been sanctioned.

"(The athletes) are found to have committed anti-doping rule violations pursuant to Article 2 of the International Olympic Committee Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, and are disqualified from the events in which they participated."

Jackson and his team-mates are unlikely to see any medals for months, as the laborious appeals process begins, with a likely outcome being a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Gary Anderson, GB Bobsleigh performance director during the Sochi Games, who left the organisation this summer, said: "I am delighted for the athletes and my only concern is that they never got the recognition or the chance to stand on the podium that they deserved.

"It is bitterly disappointing for them as athletes that they may have missed out on opportunities as a result. But at the end of the day, provided the process is followed through, they will go down in history as Olympic medallists."