MOORLACH UPDATE — Overwhelmed With Emotion — September 1, 2016

The 2015-2016 Legislative Session concluded earlier this morning, around 1 a.m. It was a long night, and concludes my first Session experience as a State Senator, and its related commuting on a weekly basis to Sacramento.

I now will be in the District until the first week in December, when I hopefully will be sworn in at the Capitol for a four-year term.

As a result of honoring Shirley Babashoff on the Senate Floor last Tuesday, we made a expeditend effort to have the Senate approve a resolution, SR 88, to support her — and all of the other women she swam with — their rightful position in the 1976 Olympic Games record books (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Golden — August 24, 2016 august 24, 2016 john moorlach).

My staff worked under tight time constraints, but they were able to get it on the agenda for the last day of Floor Session for the year. I want to thank my esteemed colleague, Sen. Janet Nguyen, for her encouragement in pursuing this show of visible support. It passed with no opposition, 39-0. The news is provided in two publications which I have never appeared before, Swimming World and Swim Vortex.

I know it would have received 40 votes if Sen. Sharon Runner would have been with us. I announced her passing (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SKY FELL — July 15, 2016 july 15, 2016 john moorlach) and also attended her Memorial Service in the city of Lancaster with my wife. It was an honor to serve with my 39 colleagues and wish them all the best, especially the eight that have termed out or are seeking another office.

California Senate Passes Resolution Urging IOC to Address 1976 Olympic Wrongs; Babashoff Overwhelmed

The California Senate took a major step forward in recognizing the injustices of the 1976 Olympic Games where the East German women swimmers won all but one gold medal in the pool.

Senate Resolution 88 urges the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address the wrong created by the East German performance-enhancing substance scandal and to recognize the competitors who played by the rules in the 1976 Olympic Games with their rightful medals and places in the record books.

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 competing. Instead, the Games have lived under a dark cloud of controversy for the past forty years. – California Resolution 88

Swimming World talked with Babashoff who said she was overwhelmed with emotion from all the support. “I have never had anybody like a Senator John Moorlach stand up for me and the other girls on my team all these years. I am not an emotional person and I am bawling my eyes out right now because of all the support now which has not been there for all these years.”

Swimming World reached out to Senator Moorlach who said, “My hope is that this measure sparks real change. Now that we know the truth, how could we ignore the facts any longer? The International Olympic Committee has the power to give justice to the dozens of Olympic women swimmers who played by the rules. I want to see the IOC give these swimmers, including Shirley Babashoff, their rightful medals and places in the record books.”

The allegations that the East German women’s swim team was competing under the influence of performance-enhancing substances were dismissed at the time, but 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. The International Olympic Committee needs to address this injustice and recognize these competitors. They have the power to honor these individuals with their rightful medals and places in the record books. It is the International Olympic Committee’s turn to step up and demonstrate the integrity that is becoming of the Olympic Games and show today’s youth the importance and value of competing with honor. – Resolution 88

“The IOC committee needs to be reviewed and assessed of its goals. They are not doing what they should be doing. This is also about what those young girls went through 40 years ago and the abuse by their government,” said Babashoff.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter


Shirley Babashoff @SBabashoff

39-0! @SenatorMoorlach THANK YOU SO MUCH!

6:58 PM – 31 Aug 2016


Making Waves - Shirley Babashoff - Santa Monica PressMaking Waves – Shirley Babashoff – Santa Monica Press

In passing a resolution to right the wrongs of a dark chapter in swimming history, the California Senate in the United States has taken a giant leap in its bid to have the International Olympic Committee recognise the achievements of those knocked by State Plan 14:25, the East German doping program, at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games.

East Germany’s women swimmers claimed 11 out of 13 gold medals at Montreal 1976, the 200m breaststroke going to Marina Koshevaia at the helm of a Soviet Union medals sweep, the 4x100m freestyle going to the United States in a victory recalled in the SwimVortex Book of the Year for 2016, Shirley Babashoff’s Making Waves, and the Last Gold documentary.

In California, Senate Resolution 88 urges the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address the injustice of results gained through the use of performance-enhancing substances, the details of which are confirmed in Stasi (state secret police) files galore saved from the shredders at the fall of the Berlin Wall by people keen to get the truth out. Dr Werner Franke and his wife Brigitte Berendonk were the first to reveal the extent of State Plan 14:25.

The files confirmed that all East Germany’s women swimmers were fed a diet of steroids as part of their training from as young as 13 years of age. The archive and evidence from Germany’s DDR doping trials of 1998-2000 – in which FINA silver pin holder to this day, Dr Lothar Kipke, was handed a criminal record – notes the names of generation after generation of swimmers fed doping between 1973 and 1989.

What Californian senators are trying to achieve is what neither the IOC, nor FINA nor USA Swimming has pressed for in 40 years. Not a single result, not a single record has been removed; not a single asterisk of truth and context placed in the book; not a single attempt made to recognise the victims on both sides; not a single effort to take the ‘services to swimming’ honours away from those in the GDR who were subsequently handed criminal convictions.

Here’s what we’re talking about in a European context alone – 1974-1989 – European Championships, women:

  • 99/105 gold medals to the GDR, including every relay possible (2 for URS, 1 each for Bulgaria, France and Romania – and that was it) 62/84 silvers to the GDR 16/84 bronzes to the GDR 156 medals were won out of a possible 168 podium places available to the GDR in solo events under the two-per-nation rule.

In that regard, the history of swimming is a cesspit of cheating, misadventure and unrepresentative results when it comes to the healthy, clean environment that could have been cultivated but was not.

And then there is ‘Surley Shirley’, better reverend to as Shirley Babashoff, one of the most outstanding swimmers in history.

Babashoff has taken to social media this week to thank Senator John Moorlach, who led the campaign to have her achievements and those of many others, officially recognised, along the lines long advocated by SwimNews, then SwimVortex and Swimming World.

This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District.

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