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Sunday, December 13, 1998 Published at 08:24 GMT


Sport

Davies loses Olympic medal appeal



Swimmer Sharron Davies has failed in a bid to get her 1980 Olympic silver medal upgraded to gold.


BBC's Harry Peart: IOC does not want to rewrite Olympic history
The British competitor had appealed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following revelations about drug-taking among East Germans.

Four American swimmers who were beaten by former GDR rivals in 1976 also appealed.

But the IOC's executive board, meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, turned them down, saying altering the results would cause legal problems.


[ image: Sharron Davies: Runner-up in Moscow]
Sharron Davies: Runner-up in Moscow
"You have to rule out the withdrawal and reallocation of medals," said IOC director general Francois Carrard.

"It would create a lot of new judicial problems."

But he added: "The matter is not closed. There is a strong desire to explore some other forms of solutions to recognise some situations."

The East German swimmers did not test positive for drugs at the time they competed at the Olympics. Revelations about doping surfaced years later.

Two trials of former swimming officials in Berlin this year highlighted abuse which helped East German women dominate swimming from the first world championships in 1973 to the collapse of the Communist state in 1989.

Davies, who said she appealed to highlight the problem rather than get a better medal, finished second in the 400 individual medley at the 1980 Moscow Olympics behind East German Petra Schneider.

Schneider has since said she unknowingly took drugs.

The four Americans were members of the 4x100m medal relay squad which finished second to East Germany at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

The executive director of the United States Olympic Committee Dick Schultz said he was disappointed.

Mr Carrard said in the interests of fair play the only solution would be for athletes accused of taking drugs to hand over their medals to the Olympic museum or to beaten competitors.

BBC Sports Correspondent Harry Peart says the IOC has always resisted taking retroactive action conceding that there are too many variables to rewrite Olympic history.

The drugs issue is expected to re-emerge next year, when the IOC stages a special conference on doping in February.



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