MP wants drug cheats stripped of medals and Yvonne Murray given gold

Yvonne Murray returns home from Seoul with her bronze medal in 1988
Yvonne Murray returns home from Seoul with her bronze medal in 1988

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Marion Fellows wants the Government to push for Yvonne Murray’s Olympic bronze to be upgraded to gold.

The Motherwell athlete won her medal after finishing third in the women’s 3,000 metres at the 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea.

She was beaten by Tetyana Samolenko of the Soviet Union who won gold ahead of second-placed Paula Ivan of Romania.

Five years later Samolenko was found guilty of doping and, similarly, Ivan was linked to doping programs.

Yvonne wrote to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), asking for action to be taken against athletes who have been found guilty of doping.

However, the IOC refused, stating they “must have clear factual evidence in order to change official Olympic Games results”.

Mrs Fellows raised the matter in Westminster, believing that athletes found guilty of doping should have all medals and awards stripped from them by the IOC.

She has since lodged questions with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, urging action to have British athletes’ medals upgraded.

Mrs Fellows said: “The IOC must look seriously at regrading medals awarded to athletes found to be doping.

“Determined athletes like Yvonne Murray 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.

“However, no matter their reluctance there is no question that this is a matter that we, as politicians, 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.”