The sight of Nick Willis rounding the final bend of the 2008 Olympic 1500m final in Beijing's National Stadium to storm from sixth to third will live long in the memory of New Zealand athletics fans.
The country's 32-year medal hiatus in the discipline evaporated as Willis joined fellow Kiwis Jack Lovelock, Sir Peter Snell, John Davies, Rod Dixon and Sir John Walker on the Games dais.
Lovelock, Snell and Walker had won in 1936, 1964 and 1976 respectively. Willis' bronze – soon to be raised to silver - matched those of Davies in 1964 and Dixon in 1972. Eight years later he found a unique place in the New Zealand running pantheon as the first Kiwi to secure two 1500m medals when he took bronze at Rio.
Willis' 2008 feat was a Chariots of Fire moment for New Zealand sport, worthy of synching a slow-mo with Vangelis' handiwork on a synthesizer.
For Willis, a reverential student of the sport, his Beijing 1500m story was only beginning.
He was elevated a place when original victor Rashid Ramzi was exposed as a drug cheat the following year.
Now, almost a decade on, allegations have emerged that the current gold medallist, Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, has recently failed an out-of-competition doping test for a banned substance.
Kiprop has denied any wrongdoing. His statement said he would not "ruin" his career by doping.
"I have been at the forefront of the fight against doping in Kenya - a fight I strongly believe in and support.
"I would not want to ruin all I have worked for since my first international race in 2007. I hope I can prove that I am a clean athlete in every way possible."
His historical footprint depends on it.
Willis said he and Kiprop had always been on "cordial" terms since first meeting at the 2007 world championships.
"He's very much a leader of the pack in Kenya," Willis said. "He's well respected and leads his own training group. In the Kenyan running world he carries the mana a Colin Meads would carry in New Zealand rugby."
If the allegations against the Kenyan are proven true, any ban is only likely to be backdated a couple of years.
Outside a Kiprop 2008 sample hypothetically coming up positive, the chances of Willis joining Lovelock, Snell and Walker as New Zealand's fourth Olympic 1500m champion appear limited, at least officially.
However, it's worth reflecting on the silent war Willis has had to wage on the largely invisible foe of doping to pursue a fruitful career.
The retrospective pursuit of cheats is welcome, but what happens to the fraudulent earnings and baubles they amass in the interim?
Cynics would suggest they gamble on making the most of the glory before the "good" chemists catch up.
It's a problem of principle and interest, from which a solution is difficult to grasp.
How does the clean athlete, whose place is unfairly distorted in history, ever get fairly compensated?
Fortunately, Willis' drive to succeed has not been unduly affected by others' greed.
In accordance with the tenets of his Christian faith, he has quelled any urge for vengeance.
Any bittersweetness on his palette has been cleansed by the joy of competition and overcoming the odds.
Willis turned 35 on Anzac Day and continues to toil on the international scene out of love for the sport with his name already engraved in New Zealand and international athletics folklore.
Yet he had long contemplated how to combat cheats.
"Halfway through my career, I was wrestling with this. I was no longer naïve to the situation and you have to decide if it's a sport you want to be part of, or walk away from.
"We [Willis and his support team] decided we were going to find a way to get joy out of my performances, separate to what other people do.
"Me, my wife, my family and my coaches are all really proud of my career."
Willis said regardless of what may or may not transpire in future, the Beijing race is still the highlight of his sporting career.
"I couldn't have been any more joyful than I was that day.
"Potentially people left and right of you could be doping, but that's irrelevant because you're trying to get the most out of yourself. Otherwise, it makes you angry or bitter and you can't perform to your best."