Today, Senator Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) presented Senate Resolution 88, which requests that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) correct a mistake from 40 years ago and rightfully award dozens of women swimmers the recognition and medals that they deserved, had they not been cheated by the East German team, who used performance-enhancing substances. Senate Resolution 88 passed with a 39-0 vote.
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 who competed. Instead, the games have lived under a dark cloud of controversy for the past forty years.
"The Olympic Games has had a long tradition of competition, honor and integrity that magnifies the ultimate in human ideals and physical achievement," said Senator Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa). "Forty years ago, the United States female swim team competed fairly and were denied their medals. Now, armed with truth, these courageous competitors deserve justice."
The allegations that the East German womens swim team was competing under the influence of performance-enhancing substances were dismissed in 1976, but was 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.
"I urge the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address this issue and recognize the competitors who played by the rules in the 1976 Olympic Games with their rightful medals and places in the record books," Moorlach added. "The IOC has the power to honor these individuals. Let's show today’s youth the importance and value of competing with honor."
Senator Resolution 88 has gained widespread support from many groups and individuals including Michelle Simpson, former swimmer and teammate of Shirley Babashoff, Benjamin W. Lau, US-China Counsel, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, Stephanie Rosenthal-Hamilton, Member of the U.S. National Team- Swimming 1987-1988, USA Swimming Foundation, Mike Bottom, Former member of the U.S. National Swim Team, USA Swimming, Jeffrey Goldman, Publisher at Santa Monica Press and TJ Liston, ASCA Member.