British swimmer Sharron Davies may finally get Olympic gold medal – from 1980 Moscow Games

Sharron Davies, pictured in Moscow's Red Square in 1980, finished second in the 400m individual medley to Petra Schneider, the East German who has subsequently admitted to being part of the state-sponsored doping regime


Sharron Davies could finally be awarded an Olympic gold medal from the 1980 Moscow Games after swimming’s governing body pledged to confront historic doping scandals.

In a development that could also mean three retrospective Olympic medals for Ann Inge (nee Osgerby), swimming has agreed to form a new Aquatics Integrity Unit that will investigate past doping scandals, including the notorious East German regime during the 1970s and 1980s.

Davies finished second in the 400m individual medley in 1980 to Petra Schneider, who has subsequently admitted to being part of the state-sponsored doping regime that was revealed by the Stasi files following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  

Inge finished fourth in the 100m butterfly, behind three East German athletes, and was also part of the 4x100m medley relay team that finished second behind an East German team that won 11 of the 13 gold medals.

“They need to recognise it, apologise to both groups of athletes for how badly it was handled, change the record book and reissue some medals,” Davies told Telegraph Sport. “It was unbelievably frustrating. The whole of my career I knew that I was going into races with literally not a chance. It was incredibly obvious but, as individuals, we felt very sorry for the East Germans. It had terrible health consequences a long way down the line. We were without doubt both victims. For me, it would just be lovely if it could be addressed in my dad’s lifetime. He is 85 and still coaching. He has had to live with the injustice. I think as a parent you feel it more than the child.”

Brent Nowicki, the new executive director of swimming governing body Fina, promised action. “When athletes are denied the reward they worked so hard to achieve, Fina must do everything it can to right this wrong,” he said. “The independent Aquatics Integrity Unit will investigate the matter to determine what recourse may be taken in support of Ms Davies and all similarly-situated other aquatics athletes.”

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