California Senate Passes Resolution Urging IOC to Address 1976 Olympic Wrongs; Babashoff Overwhelmed


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.

Read Full Senate Resolution

Visit Swimming World Dedicated Page On The Injustices Of The 1976 Montreal Games

Contents From Senate Resolution 88 Contributed To This Story

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Don Wagner
Don Wagner
7 years ago

How about Rick Demont from 1972? That guy got screwed by own people.

7 years ago

So happy that this is no longer “under the rug”. I remember watching those races and calling my mom into the room to look at those East German girls. I hope the IOC does the right and honorable thing. Yay for Shirley and the other women of the ’76 Olympic swimming team!

Cynthia mae Curran
Cynthia mae Curran
7 years ago

I agree with Rick Demont. I live in Tucson and Rick has been involved in swimming for years in the Tucson Arizona. Shirley Bashashoff got the attention of a local Orange County politican. Now, I do like this since I knew Shirley years ago when she swam for Flip Darr before she went to swim for Mission Viejo.

Kevin McKee
7 years ago

Agreed! Looks like the recent “Last Gold” movie has stimulated a worthy conversation and momentum in the right direction.
The young East Getman women were human experimemts for their country.
We do not need take anything away from them in order to honor those that due to a lifetime of hard work deserved a more just result!
In this quest for justice let’s not forget Tim McKee’s 1972 Munich Olympics 400 Individual medley. A tie to the hundredth of a second on the scoreboard was broken to 2/1000ths of a second…resulting in the only person to get credit for an Olympic record and have a silver medal to go along with it.
How about that womens 100 free and mens 100 fly in the Rio 2016 games…two golds and three silvers…the just result based on rule changes as a result of the 1972 Munich 400 IM. The reason for the change to all Olympic races in all sports now being measured to the humdreth of a second is they realized that in the pool neither the engineers constructing the pools or the timing systems were capable of accurately accounting for the tickness of a coat of paint.
So why wasn’t the ruling made retroactive to the 400IM that resulted in what the IOC realized was an injustice. Hey, just asking the question…
USOC ready to got to bat again on these issues?

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