8th July 2016

Marion Fellows speaks up for constituent cheated by athlete found guilty of doping

Speaking in a Westminster debate this week, Marion Fellows, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, defended the corner of constituent Yvonne Mooney (formerly Murray) who took bronze in the 3000m at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Ms Mooney was beaten by Soviet runner Tetyana Samolenko who came first; and Romanian Paula Ivan who came second.

Five years later, Samolenko was found guilty of doping, but was not stripped of her Olympic accolades. Similarly, Ivan was linked to doping programs.

Ms Mooney has written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to take action against athletes found guilty of doping, but refused stating that they “must have clear factual evidence in order to change official Olympic Games results”.

Mrs Fellows raised the point that athletes found guilty of doping should have all medals and awards stripped of them by the International Olympic Committee.

Mrs Fellows has since lodged questions with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport encouraging them to take action to have British athletes’ medals upgraded.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“The International Olympic Committee must look seriously at regrading medals awarded to athletes found to be doping.

“Determined athletes like Yvonne Mooney have demonstrated years of dedication and hard work, relying on nothing more than their own ability to compete on behalf of their country and bring home medals.

“The IOC have been burying their head in the sand with regards to doping in the Olympics. Indeed, with revelations of tennis player Maria Sharapova and cyclist Lance Armstrong, both top athletes in their field who have been found to have used performance enhancing drugs, it is apparent that doping is a can of worms that sporting authorities are reluctant to open.

“But it is a matter that we and sporting bodies must face up to. The UK Government must do more to put pressure on the IOC to ensure that our athletes who have dedicated their lives to reaching the pinnacle of human ability are properly recognised for their dedication.”