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SHARRON DAVIES: Fighting with transgender bullies has left me on the brink of financial ruin 

SHARRON DAVIES: Fighting transgender bullies has brought me to the brink of financial ruin

  • Olympic swimmer said she had experienced ‘so much hate and bullying’
  • Sharron Davies, 59, is outspoken on biological women’s rights
  • She said she had lost income because of her stance on the ‘toxic’ trans debate
  • Swimmer lashes out at ‘small minority’ of activists ‘who made my life hell’

British Olympian Sharron Davies reveals today how her campaign to prevent transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports led to her being shunned by charities and facing the threat of financial ruin.

In an interview with You magazine, the 59-year-old swimmer says she has suffered a massive drop in income after fearful employers dropped her over her stance on the “toxic” transgender debate.

“There has been so much hatred and bullying,” she says. “It’s been very difficult. Charities I’ve worked with for 30 years have dropped me, agents I have worked with for 30 or 40 years don’t use me anymore, because the trans activists can be so mean and evil – they go after your work, after you mark, they attack everything.’

She describes how she could only survive financially thanks to an inheritance from her mother, who died five years ago.

Sharron Davies, 59, said sport has 'learned to be resilient' in the face of 'hate and bullying'

Sharron Davies, 59, said sport has ‘learned to be resilient’ in the face of ‘hate and bullying’

“The money’s almost gone now. But I can’t back down,” she says. “If you have the courage of your beliefs, you have to back them up with evidence and science and then you just have to stand your ground.”

She shares her pride and relief at the decision last month by the World Swimming Body (FINA) to ban transgender athletes from competing in elite women’s races.

The debate was partly inspired by the recent success of American transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

Davies lashes out at the “very small minority of very vocal trans activists who have made my life hell” and emphasizes that her stance is not anti-trans, but rather about fairness to biological women.

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas caused controversy when she won the women's 500 Freestyle Finals in March

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas caused controversy when she won the women’s 500 Freestyle Finals in March

‘I have friends with trans children, I have met many trans people during this process because the majority understand it completely. Many just want to live their lives and think this argument makes it harder for them.’

Davies, who was robbed of Olympic gold in 1980 for East Germany’s state-sponsored doping of athletes, reveals that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected a request from Petra Schneider, who defeated her in the 400-meter medley at the 1980 Games in Moscow, to give the gold medal to its ‘rightful owner’.

But she reserves her anger for the IOC, rather than her former rival whom she sees as a victim of the state-sponsored doping program.

“It’s important to understand that this wasn’t a choice they had,” Davies says. “That’s why the IOC was so horrible – it disappointed not only my generation, but also these young girls, by having them treated like guinea pigs.

“Petra is doing very badly today. She has heart problems, she had one child but she couldn’t have more. I went to see her – it was really sad.’

Davies says she draws from her career to find the strength to carry on. “Sport has taught me to be resilient: you get knocked down seven times and get up eight times.”

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