The California Senate took a major step forward in recognizing the injustices of the 1976 Olympic Games where the East German women swimmers won all but one gold medal in the pool.
Senate Resolution 88 urges the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address the wrong created by the East German performance-enhancing substance scandal and to recognize the competitors who played by the rules in the 1976 Olympic Games with their rightful medals and places in the record books.
The 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, should have been a monumental and celebratory occasion for Shirley Babashoff and the dozens of other female swimmers competing. Instead, the Games have lived under a dark cloud of controversy for the past forty years. – California Resolution 88
Swimming World talked with Babashoff who said she was overwhelmed with emotion from all the support. “I have never had anybody like a Senator John Moorlach stand up for me and the other girls on my team all these years. I am not an emotional person and I am bawling my eyes out right now because of all the support now which has not been there for all these years.”
Swimming World reached out to Senator Moorlach who said, “My hope is that this measure sparks real change. Now that we know the truth, how could we ignore the facts any longer? The International Olympic Committee has the power to give justice to the dozens of Olympic women swimmers who played by the rules. I want to see the IOC give these swimmers, including Shirley Babashoff, their rightful medals and places in the record books.”
The allegations that the East German women’s swim team was competing under the influence of performance-enhancing substances were dismissed at the time, but later proven true. When the Berlin Wall fell, records were recovered that proved the East German team was involved in a state-sponsored performance-enhancing substances scheme.
Due to this scandal, competitors who played by the rules were denied their true earned victories, and their countries denied their moment to celebrate with them. The International Olympic Committee needs to address this injustice and recognize these competitors. They have the power to honor these individuals with their rightful medals and places in the record books. It is the International Olympic Committee’s turn to step up and demonstrate the integrity that is becoming of the Olympic Games and show today’s youth the importance and value of competing with honor. – Resolution 88
“The IOC committee needs to be reviewed and assessed of its goals. They are not doing what they should be doing. This is also about what those young girls went through 40 years ago and the abuse by their government,” said Babashoff.
— Shirley Babashoff (@SBabashoff) September 1, 2016
Contents From Senate Resolution 88 Contributed To This Story