California Senate Passes Resolution on East German Doping

by Kevin Gast 14

September 01st, 2016 Anti-Doping, News

The California Senate has taken a major step in recognizing the injustices of the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games by passing Senate Resolution 88, which urges the IOC, FINA, and USA Swimming to recognize the athletes who suffered at the hands of East German doping.

East Germany’s doping program, officially recognized as State Plan 14:25, began in the early 70s as a way for East Germany to secure national prestige through sporting dominance. Oral Turinabol, an anabolic steroid developed at a secret lab in Leipzig, was given to East German girls as young as twelve without their or their parent’s knowledge. The Secret police force in charge of the program, the Statsi, planted nearly 3,000 moles within the sports system to monitor the coaches and athletes. All of this information has been accumulated from Brigitte Berendonk and her husband, biologist Werner Franke. Their controversial book, Doping Dokumente, was published after they discovered written documentation that described the doping plans.

The effects of the doping program were immediate, with the East German swim team winning eleven of a possible thirteen gold medals at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. From 1974-1989, the East German women won 99 of a possible 105 gold medals at the European Championships, and 156 of a possible 168 medals, accounting for the two-swimmer rule that limited the amount of entrants at championship meets.

The Resolution has been long awaited by all of the athletes who competed at these Olympics, including Shirley Babashoff. Babashoff won four silver medals at those 1976 Montreal Olympics, as well as a gold on the 400-meter freestyle relay. All of Babashoff’s losses came to East German swimmers. This resolution will try and influence the IOC and FINA to rescind East Germany’s Olympic medals from the period that the alleged doping took place.

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MarkB
5 years ago

Well, thank God they got this resolved this year!! Next year would have been 41 years after the fact and we all know that that’s too long!

Joe Bagodonuts
5 years ago

I guess the California Senate doesn’t have anything more important to do. While they’re at it, I suggest they pass a resolution chastising Cain for slaying Abel and declare that dogs are, in reality, much better pets than cats.

Prickle
Reply to  Joe Bagodonuts
5 years ago

So, why do you think they did it, and why IOC and FINA haven’t? Why German government criminally prosecuted Dr Lothar Kipke, and FINA awarded him with silver pin distinction? If you honestly answer this questions you may not be so sarcastic about California Senate.

Joe Bagodonuts
Reply to  Prickle
5 years ago

I think they did it because they think it is their job to “do something” (regardless of whether or not it fits within the scope of their authority) about anything that is upsetting to someone (even if that something happened 40 years ago and even if there are other organizations for whom this sort of thing fits neatly into their scope of authority but that chose not to do something about at that time – or any time since). This is a classic example of why full-time state legislatures are not needed – because then they feel like they have do SOMETHING to fill their time, even if whatever it is they do is useless, at least from the standpoint… Read more »

Prickle
Reply to  Joe Bagodonuts
5 years ago

Thanks for answering.

Monique-Rødahl Williams
5 years ago

I swam at 1975 World champs and was 5th behind gold and silver to East Getmany , at 15 years old … That means a bronze medal in Nancy Garapicks race .., agree this goes beyond just 1976 Montreal … Recognition is all we need !
Good on you California !

Lane Four
Reply to  Monique-Rødahl Williams
5 years ago

Personally, I would rather you receive your World Championship medal AND the recognition. You deserve it, Monique. And by the way, I remember your swimming career. You were one of the best in the Commonwealth and the world.

Lane Four
5 years ago

It is amazing to understand that Shirley’s record would have been:
1973 World Championships – 3 gold and one silver rather than 4 silver medals.
1975 World Championships – 5 gold, one silver and one bronze rather than 2 gold, 3 silver and one bronze
1976 Olympic Games – 5 gold and one bronze rather than 4 silver and one gold

Yes, Shirley really was robbed. But so was Nancy Garapick from Canada. Instead of the silver and bronze she won at the 1975 Worlds, she would have won two gold medals as a 14-year-old! In Montreal she would have won two gold medals instead of two bronze medals. And Enith Brigitta from the Netherlands? She lost… Read more »

Stay Human
Reply to  Lane Four
5 years ago

I’m a bit skeptical as well. Babashoff may have also moved up from 4th to bronze in the 400 free at Munich in ’72 as SP 14:25 had started by 1971-72.

Mission Bay Alum
5 years ago

How about stripping many of the Chinese medals from the 1994 Worlds up into the present?

Lane Four
Reply to  Mission Bay Alum
5 years ago

And the 1992 Olympic Games as well.

NSwim
5 years ago

After watching “The Last Gold”, it is truly touching to know that the state of California is working to find justice for those amazing swimmers.

Cynthia mae Curran
Reply to  NSwim
5 years ago

Well, Shirley and Jill came from there. Shirley still lives there. If you read Shirley Bashashoff’s book you even have more respect for her given what her father did which was terrible.

Aserra1
5 years ago

It was about time! Hope that FINA and IOC fall to the pressure to make justice. If they do, this will be the best measure to stop the doping that still goes through and let the cheaters know that no matter how much time passes by you will eventually be caught!