- Sharron Davies wants IOC to back words with action on medals
- The swimmer has new hopes of winning Olympic gold after losing the 400 meters in 1980
- Petra Schneider admitted that her victory was achieved through doping
Sharron Davies has called on Thomas Bach to back up his words with actions after they gave her new hope of finally receiving the Olympic gold medal stolen from her in 1980.
Mail Sport launched a campaign last year for Davies to retrospectively receive the gold she missed out on in Moscow, when she was beaten in the 400m individual medley by East German Petra Schneider, who has since admitted her victory was achieved through sponsored doping For the state. .
International Olympic Committee President Bach gave Davies and other athletes hit by the doping scandal a boost this week when he praised the “fight to right the wrongs of the time” of former Australian swimmer Michelle Ford, who also lost two titles against the East Germans in 1980.
Now Davies wants Bach and the IOC to follow up on that statement by setting the record straight, and doing so while his father and former coach, Terry, 88, is still alive.
“For Thomas Bach to come out and make a statement in support of Michelle is quite promising,” Davies, 61, told Mail Sport. ‘As far as I know, he’s never said anything before, so this is a big step in the right direction.
Sharron Davies has called on Thomas Bach to back up his words with action on his medal
Davies (above) had an Olympic gold medal stolen by East German drug cheats in 1980
Petra Schneider won the 400m medley in 1980, but admitted the extent of her cheating.
‘Now what we want to do is try to pressure him to actually do something. Now we’re just trying to push that angle as much as possible, and force him to do what he says, rather than just saying something and then not doing anything again.
‘What is sad is that so many coaches and parents have died, who have always felt injustice. We are now getting to the point where some of these athletes are in their 60s and 70s and shouldn’t have to die before these mistakes are corrected.
“My father is 88 years old and I would love to see something done before he is no longer here because he missed a lot.”
When Husain al-Musallam took over as president of World Aquatics in 2021, he said its governing body “must do everything possible to correct this mistake” and suggested awarding retrospective medals. However, only the IOC has the power to do so.
The IOC has declared it will “fight to right the wrongs of the time”, giving Davies a boost
“The first time I went to the IOC was 30 years ago and they just made up every excuse after every excuse,” Davies added.
“World Aquatics can ask and apply pressure and they seem very keen to want to do the right thing, but that’s what we need at the Olympics.”
World Athletics president Lord Coe, who won the 1,500m title in 1980, has previously backed Mail Sport’s campaign and hopes the latest development does not prove to be another false dawn.
“Sharron has run a really powerful campaign here and I supported her,” Coe told Mail Sport. ‘I also know there are some major complexities to this. But if we look at it in simple terms of common justice, then of course (the medals should be reallocated).’