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This Week #30

12th – 18th September 2016


ThisWeekMon

On Monday, Marion was back in her office at Westminster, with a busy day of briefings and meetings.

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP also received a couple of responses to written questions:

1. Marion Fellows MP: 

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions her Department has had with the International Olympic Committee and the British Olympic Association on ensuring that British athletes who placed behind athletes found guilty of doping in competitions have their medals and awards upgraded.

Tracey Couch MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport: 

The Government is supportive of the International Olympic Committee‘s Agenda approach that honours clean athletes by awarding an Olympic medal following a positive doping case. Formal medal ceremonies are arranged for medal-winners who receive their Olympic medal following the disqualification of a competitor. There is absolutely no place for drug cheats in sport and it is completely right that clean athletes receive medals when tests have proven doping violations.

2. Marion Fellows MP: 

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is her Department’s policy to immediately reject visa applications based on the applicant’s nationality.

Robert Goodwill MP, the Minister for Immigration:

It is not Home Office policy to refuse an application for a visa on the basis of an applicant’s nationality. All visa applications are considered on their merits, in accordance with the Immigration Rules.



ThisWeekTue

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/posts/10155286670166632



ThisWeekWed

Wednesday brought with it Marion’s usual appearances at the Education Select Committee and Prime Minister’s Questions before an afternoon of meetings.



ThisWeekThu

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/videos/10155292474271632/



ThisWeekFri

On Friday, Marion was back in the constituency for her surgery in the Dalziel Building, Motherwell, during which she met with a number of local people, providing invaluable assistance with their issues and concerns.

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Yvonne Mooney Letters

I have written to the Chair of the British Olympic Association, Seb Coe, and the President of the International Olympic Committee. regarding Motherwell local, Yvonne Mooney’s upgrading of her Olympic medal from bronze to silver after it was found that the gold medal winner was found guilty of doping five years later.

I have asked that the IOC considers taking the necessary steps to strip all historical medals and titles of athletes found guilty of doping at any point in their career and that Seb Coe makes representations to the IOC to this affect. I believe this is essential for securing justice, deterring future acts of doping and preserving the integrity of sporting disciplines.

Olympian Yvonne Murray still battling for medal recognition… 28 years after being pushed into bronze place by a drugs cheat.

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Letters to Sebastian Coe & Thomas Bach

I have written to the Chair of the British Olympic Association, Seb Coe, and the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, regarding Motherwell local Yvonne Mooney’s upgrading of her Olympic medal from bronze to silver after it was found that the gold medal winner was found guilty of doping five years later.

I have asked that the IOC considers taking the necessary steps to strip all historical medals and titles of athletes found guilty of doping at any point in their career and that Seb Coe makes representations to the IOC to this affect. I believe this is essential for securing justice, deterring future acts of doping and preserving the integrity of sporting disciplines.

You can read the content of my letters below.Half Signature

 

 

 

Dear Lord Coe / Mr Bach,

I am writing to you to make representations on behalf of my constituent, Yvonne Mooney (formerly Murray), in relation to recent events regarding doping.

Mrs Mooney won bronze in the 3000m at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The athlete who took gold was a Soviet runner, Tatyana Samolenko, who was found guilty of doping five years later.

Yet, despite this, Ms Samolenko and indeed all other athletes found guilty of doping, was allowed to retain her historical accolades and was not stripped of her Olympic medals she won before being found guilty of doping. I believe this to be a severe miscarriage of justice.

In letters from Kit McConnell, the Sports Director of the International Olympic Committee, he stated that although Samolenko was found guilty in 1993, there is no way of proving that she was guilty of doping when she won her gold medal in 1988.

I have two issues with this. The first being that Ms Samolenko is likely to have been doping at the peak of her performance. Secondly and more importantly, any athlete who is found guilty of doping has brought the name of sport and their discipline into disrepute. They are undeserving of holding the title of Olympic Champion and should therefore have all historical awards stripped of them.

When we consider the recent events of a possible state-sponsored doping programme in Russia, it is clear that doping has been a prominent and ongoing issue within sports. Despite all action taken by the IOC to rectify the problem, some athletes are persistent.

I understand that banning all athletes from Russia from partaking in the 2016 Rio Olympics was considered as a form of action to punish perpetrators and deter future athletes from engaging in the practice. I believe that removing all historical medals of disgraced athletes would contribute greatly to the deterrence of doping in sports.

We must also consider the great efforts of athletes like Yvonne who have trained their entire lives to compete fairly against their competitors. We cannot allow doping athletes to retain their titles. We must make sure that those who have demonstrated both ability and sportsmanlike conduct are recognised for their qualities.

I ask that the IOC considers taking the necessary steps to strip all historical medals and titles of athletes found guilty of doping at any point in their career. I believe this is essential for securing justice, deterring future acts of doping and preserving the integrity of sporting disciplines.

Yours sincerely,

Marion Fellows MP

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This Week #27

11th – 17th July 2016


ThisWeekMon

On Monday, Marion was present at the Westminster Hall debate on School Penalty Fines and Authorised Absence, during which she gave an impressive contribution.

It is important that we listen to the almost 200,000 people who signed the petition, because this is a real-life issue for them and their families. Of course educational attainment is important, and of course there are links to attendance—as a former lecturer in a further education college, I can vouch for that—but when headteachers authorise absences for good reasons and teachers know about those reasons, they can provide homework and catch-up sessions, so students can generally catch up. I very much take on board what the hon. Member for Isle of Wight said: a two-week absence should be seen as a 14-day absence across the whole school year. If a student is attending regularly, a one or two-week holiday might not make much different to their attainment.

Marion’s speech can be read in full here.



ThisWeekTue

 

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/posts/10155079393396632

Tuesday brought with it a busy day of meetings and briefings. Marion also took time out of her day to mark Srebrenica Memorial Day. 

Srebrenica

The Motherwell and Wishaw MP was keen to honour those were murdered during the genocide 21 years ago.

Marion signed the Remembering Srebrenica Book of Pledges promising to ensure that the lessons from the genocide are learnt and community cohesion is strengthened across Scotland.

The 12th of July 2016 marked the 21st anniversary of the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two when over 8,000 men and boys were murdered just because of their faith. The Charity Remembering Srebrenica, which organises memorial events across the UK, says that this year it is time to act to counter the rising threat of Hate Crime in the UK.

Tuesday also saw Marion receive an answer to a written question she had submitted on doping in the Olympics:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make representations to the International Olympic Committee on upgrading the medals of British athletes who were placed behind athletes found guilty of doping in competitions.

Tracey Crouch, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport replied:

Recommendation 17 of the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020 seeks to honour clean athletes by awarding an Olympic medal following a positive doping case. This involves organising formal medal ceremonies for medal-winners who receive their Olympic medal following the disqualification of a competitor.

Last month Australian athlete Jared Tallent was presented with an Olympic gold medal for the 50km walk at the London 2012 Games following the disqualification of a Russian athlete for a doping offence. We expect the same treatment for British athletes.



ThisWeekWed

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/photos/a.10153714643836632.1073741825.28642546631/10155082590236632/?type=3

On Wednesday, Marion delivered a fantastic speech in the Westminster Hall debate on the implications for the UK steel industry of the outcome of the EU referendum. In her contribution, the Motherwell and Wishaw MP championed the saving of the former Tata plants in Scotland and highlighted the UK government’s lack of a post-Brexit plan:

From the start of the steel crisis, the Scottish Government have exhibited tremendous leadership and collective decision making. That demonstrates what is possible when a Government have the will to intervene and have the interests of the workers at heart, but most of all when there is clear leadership and a coherent plan. Following the result of the EU referendum, it is entirely apparent that there was no plan from the UK Government for how to deal with a leave vote. In fact, we are still waiting for the change of Prime Minister today, and we still do not know who will be in charge of the business of steel next week, or even tomorrow. There are also real difficulties in the Opposition, who are still in-fighting rather than moving forward, but I pay complete and sincere tribute to those Opposition Members who have been fighting day and night for their constituents and their steel industry. I cannot say strongly enough what I have learned from them about how best to achieve things and move forward the steel industry in Scotland, half of which is based in my constituency.

You can read Marion’s speech in its entirety here.

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/posts/10155085650491632



ThisWeekThu

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MP: GIVE GOLD TO YVONNE

I am very pleased that the Motherwell Times this week bears Yvonne Murray’s story on the front page.

Yvonne was cheated out of silver by a Soviet Athlete who five years later was found guilty of doping. Similarly, the Romanian who came second had links to doping programs. Yvonne was cheated out of silver and potentially gold. The UK Government must put further pressure on the International Olympic Committee to clamp down on doping and strip all titles from those found doping at any point in their career.

You can read the article in full here: http://www.motherwelltimes.co.uk/news/local-headlines/mp-wants-drug-cheats-stripped-of-medals-and-yvonne-murray-given-gold-1-4176243

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This Week #26

4th – 10th July 2016


ThisWeekMon

On Monday, Marion was in London where she questioned Education Ministers. The pay for teachers in academised schools is determined by academy trusts and not national standards. The UK Government must assess what impact this will have on the morale and retention rate of teachers in these schools.

Marion was also present at the debate relating to expressive arts subjects and the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) on Monday, in which she drew upon a career in education to deliver an impressive contribution which can be read here.



ThisWeekTue

Tuesday brought with it the usual busy day at Westminster, with a full schedule of meetings and briefings.

Marion also found the time to take up the opportunity of meeting some of the members of Heart Valve Voice. The Motherwell and Wishaw MP had her heart checked for heart valve disease at an awareness event, hosted by Heart Valve Voice in Parliament. This involved a heart specialist listening to Marion’s heart, one of the first steps taken to detect heart valve disease. A doctor can listen for a characteristic heart ‘murmur’, which is usually thefirst indication of a problem with the heart valves. This is often followed up with an echocardiogram test to confirm the diagnosis. 

HeartValveVoice
Marion at the Heart Valve Voice event.

Marion is keen to support Heart Valve Voice’s awareness campaign. A recent survey revealed 94% of the over 60s in the UK do not know what aortic stenosis is, and 72% of over 60s reported that they rarely, or never, have their hearts listened to by a doctor. This is despite annual mortality of severe aortic stenosis being considerably higher than most cancers and heart valve disease affecting approximately one million people over 65 years of age in the UK.

It’s important that we spread awareness of the dangers of aortic stenosis and heart valve disease.



ThisWeekWed

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/photos/a.10153716592906632.1073741826.28642546631/10155061133721632/?type=3

As usual, Wednesday involved appearances at the Education Select Committee and Prime Minister’s Questions. Later in the day, Marion contributed to Steven Paterson MP’s debate on doping in the Olympic Games, stating:

My constituent Yvonne Murray, who is now Yvonne Mooney, came third in the women’s 3000 metres at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. She was beaten by a Soviet runner, Tetyana Samolenko, who five years later was found guilty of doping, and by a Romanian runner who had links to the Soviet doping programme. Ms Samolenko has been allowed to keep her Olympic medals, despite attempts by Ms Mooney to encourage the International Olympic Committee to take action. It claims that there was no way to prove that Ms Samolenko was doping at the time.

Marion’s full contribution can be found here.

Yvonne Mooney (formerly Murray) took bronze in the 1988 Seoul Olympics in the 3000m and Marion wishes to apologise to Yvonne for confusing her event in the intervention.

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/videos/10155063522756632/

Yvonne was cheated out of silver by a Soviet Athlete who five years later was found guilty of doping. Similarly, the Romanian who came second had links to doping programs. Yvonne was cheated out of silver and potentially gold. The UK Government must put further pressure on the International Olympic Committee to clamp down on doping and strip all titles from those found doping at any point in their career.



ThisWeekThu

Marion remained in London on Thursday working from her Westminster office before travelling back to the constituency later in the day.



ThisWeekFri

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/photos/a.10153716592906632.1073741826.28642546631/10155063589141632/?type=3

On Friday, Marion was in the constituency meeting local people at her monthly Orbiston surgery before attending the opening of the new Forgewood Community Centre.

ForgewoodCC1
Marion at the opening of the Forgewood Community Centre.

The MP was delighted to join the community at the opening. The centre will be essential as a social space for local people and Marion is sure it will become the focal point of the community from hereon.

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MP FIGHTS CONSTITUENT’S CORNER FOR OLYMPIC GOLD

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.”