Doping scandal: Call for Yvonne Murray medal upgrade

Yvonne Murray raising her arms in victory after winning the 10000 Metres final at the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Allsport
Yvonne Murray raising her arms in victory after winning the 10000 Metres final at the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Allsport
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Yvonne Murray’s husband has demanded that her Olympic bronze medal be upgraded following the “state-sponsored” doping scandal surrounding Russian athletes.

The middle and long-distance runner from Musselburgh finished behind Tetyana Dorovskikh of Russia and Paula Ivan of Romania in the 3,000m in Seoul in 1988.

Dorovskikh was banned for a positive drug test in 1993.

Husband Tom Mooney said: “She walked away from the sport after that and kept all of her medals.

“You just feel the time’s right to make a move on it now.”

He said they plan to write to International Association of Athletics Federations president Lord Coe and International Olympic Committee counterpart Thomas Bach in light of the World Anti-Doping Agency commission report examining allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics.

“They should consider Yvonne’s case,” he added. “We’re flagging it up. We want this investigated.

“If we don’t do it now, we’ll never do it. Ideally, it would be Yvonne, her medal being upgraded.”

Dorovskikh won four World Championship gold medals and the Olympic victory over Murray.

“That really hurt Yvonne badly,” said Mr Mooney. “That’s always been something that’s annoyed her.

“I know all the hard work she put in over the years.”

But Yvonne Murray’s former rival and team-mate, Liz McColgan, said she did not think that medals should be redistributed.

She said: “Although I was one of a number of athletes back in the 80s that’s went to championships and won a silver or a bronze because a Russian or an Eastern European has been ahead of us, the way I look at it is, on the day, I finished second, I didn’t win the gold.

“You don’t know if they were forced to do it back then. Did they know they were doing it back then? They were in a regime where there wasn’t a lot of choice for what they did to be successful in sport. Although they’re taking drugs, they still have to train hard to do it.

“The cheating phase comes into the recovery phase where they are able to recover quicker so they can train double the work-load.

“And, to me personally, I wouldn’t feel the need to chase after the gold medal because I just feel, on the day, I didn’t win it.”