PHOENIX, May 2. LONG overdue recognition was awarded to Shirley Babashoff over the weekend, when the United States Olympic Committee presented the two-time Olympian with its Olympic Order. Babashoff was honored for speaking out against doping in swimming.
Attending the 1972 and 1976 Games in Munich and Montreal, Babashoff took heat for her courageous statements that suspected doping by the East German swimmers. Vilified for her comments, Babashoff was eventually proven correct in her assertions. In Olympic action, Babashoff won five silver medals in individual competition, with three of the events won by an East German.
Babashoff was awarded her Olympic Order by Anita DeFrantz, who lauded Babashoff for her role in the battle against doping. Babashoff was not the only swimmer honored, as Michael Phelps was the recipient of the USOC Sportsman of the Year Award. Phelps’ nod was the result of his eight-medal haul from the Olympic Games in Athens.