Former Australian Olympic sprinter Raelene Boyle says she isn’t holding out hope the International Olympic Committee will award medals to the athletes cheated out by East Germany’s infamous doping program.
Boyle’s comments follow a report by the Daily Telegraph that claims the new boss of world swimming’s governing body FINA will challenge the IOC to recognise those swimmers who missed out as a result of East Germany’s doping in the 1970s and ’80s.
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Only the IOC has the power to redistribute medals.
While Boyle claimed three silver Olympic medals in her career, she, like many other Australian athletes, was robbed of more, including two gold medals at the 1972 Munich Games.
Former Australian swim stars Lisa Curry and Michelle Ford are just some of many Australians who would be in line to receive Olympic medals, should the IOC redistribute them.
“It’s very interesting that a new leader of swimming worldwide international is going to try and take it up to the IOC, but I just don’t know,” Boyle told 2GB’s Jim Wilson.
“If the IOC can’t recognise that all the documentation is in the Stasi museum, and all of the names of the athletes will be collectable from their files and they haven’t recognised it, then I don’t know whether anyone’s going to get it recognised or not.
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“But it would be bloody nice if they did.
“The documentation is there to say that the East German secret police … they came up with the idea that ‘yeah we will do this because we will be able to beat the world with this’.
“They did in every sport. They actually stopped great athletes from winning medals that they should have and truly deserved.”
Former Australian Olympic walker Jared Tallent, who fell victim at the 2012 London Games, said he was lucky he received his deserved gold medal after finishing second in the 50km race walk to Russia’s Sergei Kirdyapkin, who was later proven to have breached doping rules.
“I always think of myself as someone who was very lucky, and just in a time and age when there are so many technological advancements in anti-doping,” Tallent told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.
“I’m very fortunate I was able to get my gold medal back, where I feel very sorry for those who competed long before me and were clearly beaten by cheats.
“Those technologies were never available, so those athletes were never caught. Those athletes who should be gold medallists have missed out.”
In 2016, the German government approved a second fund to pay compensation to athletes from the former East Germany representation whose health was damaged by the doping program.
It’s estimated between 8000-9000 athletes were part of the secretive state-supported doping program from 1972-1989.
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