Federation Internationale de Natation: An Open Letter Asking FINA To Recognize All Victims During The DDR Olympic Reign
  • Petitioning Federation Internationale de Natation

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Federation Internationale de Natation: An Open Letter Asking FINA To Recognize All Victims During The DDR Olympic Reign

    1. Petition by

      Swimming World Magazine & SwimVortex.com

Dear FINA Board Members:

In December of 2013, Swimming World Magazine made the decision to strip its World and European Swimmer of the Year titles awarded to any East German (DDR) female swimmer dating back to 1973.  The magazine is revisiting how it might reallocate those awards.

The decision to strip those titles generated many comments and discussions within the swimming community worldwide.  Almost everyone agreed that the systematic doping of athletes by the East German government affected the Olympics medal standings.

Swimming World acknowledged that the DDR women were just as much victims as were the swimmers who were cheated out of winning medals and their place in history.  In an article running parallel to Swimming World's campaign, SwimVortex.com noted the difference between perpetrators of crime and victims of a crime who won medals as a result of the system they were a part of. The fact that there were victims on both sides of the podium goes to the core of the IOC’s dilemma in rectifying history.

On behalf of the swimming community worldwide, we are calling on FINA to recognize all victims during this dark period in Olympic history and to lobby the International Olympic Committee to take similar action.

When Nelson Mandela passed away of late, his story reminded us all of the need to acknowledge the past and then leave it in the past so that reconciliation and healing can take place and a new beginning made. Without acknowledgement, swimming cannot move on.

We therefore ask the following: 

1.     That FINA acknowledge that the aquatic records were tainted during the DDR era. 

2.     That FINA acknowledge that there were victims on both sides of the podium. 

3.     That FINA place an asterisk next to all DDR era swimmers, explaining that they were unknowingly doped. 

4.     That FINA acknowledge a second tier of new medal standings (consisting of those not recognized) alongside the existing standings of DDR victims. 

5.     That FINA not ask for DDR swimmers to return their medals. 

6.     That FINA award duplicate medals to those athletes who have a new standing. 

7.     That FINA remove from its list of Pin winners all GDR officials, including the convicted Dr Lothar Kipke, a former Medical Commission delegate who was found guilty of harm to minors in the German doping trials of the late 1990s. 

The 5th and 6th requests to FINA could be the most impactful for all parties and victims.  We cannot think of anything more powerful, emotional and meaningful than FINA staging a medal ceremony during the 2015 World Championships. A ceremony of this nature speaks to all that is good about forgiveness, sportsmanship and above all the spirit of humanity.  It is in that ideal that we also ask the following:

8. That FINA stage an event where those who are affected by the reordering of the medals meet with the DDR women in a spirit of sportsmanship, consolation, and forgiveness

 Respectfully Signed,

 Brent T. Rutemiller                                                 Craig Lord

 Publisher: Swimming World Magazine              Publisher: SwimVortex

SwimmingWorld.com                                                 SwimVortex.com



Federation Internationale de Natation, President
FINA.Org, Executive Director
Dale NEUBURGER, Vice President
Paolo BARELLI, Honorary Secretary
Pipat PANIANGVAIT, Honorary Secretary
Sam RAMSAMY, Vice President
Husain AL MUSALLAM, Vice President
Tamas GYARFAS, Vice President
Dennis MILLER, Vice President
Please Recognize All Victims During The DDR Olympic Reign

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Christina Echols AUSTRALIA
      • 20 days ago

      FINA and the IOC need to wake up. This is a fair proposal. As one person has already said: Justice, reconciliation. By not taking action, both organisations look arrogant and out of touch with the community they are meant to serve.

    • Júlio Borja PORTUGAL
      • 29 days ago

      The text of the petition speaks for itself... and for me, surely.

    • Terrell carlisle SAN RAFAEL, CA. 94901, CA
      • 5 months ago

      It is important to set history straight -that the East German doped to

      get a physical advantage.

    • Cathy Redson DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX
      • 5 months ago

      I was a competitive swimmer from 1966 through 1984. I had many friends who sacrificed so much to compete in different Olympiads, 1976, 1980, and 1984. With the political wranglings between U.S. and Russia robbing the athletes in 1980 and 1984 from legitimate competitive landscape, to the East German steroid debacle of 1976, no one in my generation got to compete in a legitimate Olympic Games for a 16 year timespan. People like Cheryl Gibson, who was 10 seconds behind Kornelia Ender in the 400 IM, who was stripped of her medals, robbed Cheryl of not only her Gold, but they were both under the World Record. Cheryl never got credit for that either. This is a disgrace that has to be corrected. I knew Cheryl personally, at Arizona State where we swam on the team together. Just imagine how different her life might have been as a Gold Medalist.

      It's about time to right this wrong!

      • 5 months ago

      Besides the poor athletes that won at the time, that today are crippled because of the steroids, the meet was not fair in finding out who was fastest at the meet in the meet in a fair way.


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