Olympic swimming legend Sharron Davies has accused trans activists of making her life “hell” — revealing they’ve made death threats even against her child.
Davies, 59, told The Times of London that she became a vocal critic of transgender athletes competing in women’s events because she felt it was an unfair advantage similar to when the East German swimmer who beat her to gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympics later admitted to doping.
“The reason I am so vocal is I could not sit by and let that happen again,” the MBE honoree said of her ongoing campaigning.
“I thought I’d not be able to live with myself if I did not stand up and voice my opinion. But it’s been very tough.
“A very small minority of very vocal trans activists have made my life hell. They have made threats on my life, on my kid’s life,” she said.
“They have rung my employers. They have rung up and tried to get me sacked,” she said, using the British term for fired.
“This is a very toxic debate.”
While celebrating the weekend announcement by the world swimming’s governing body (FINA) that it was effectively banning transgender competitors from women’s events — a ruling that would apply to Lia Thomas — Davies wants it to roll out to every sport.
She said sporting bodies that do not follow with similar bans are “enforcing on their female athletes that they accept a disadvantage before they start to race.”
“I am very much hoping that the female athletes will not put up with this,” she told the UK paper.
“It has now got to start to fall on the shoulders of some of the athletes to say: ‘No, the evidence says that you are asking us to accept a disadvantage. That is not acceptable.’”
She directly likened the scandal of East German athletes doping — including the swimmer who beat her to gold — to “putting girls through male puberty.”
She noted how at the 1980 games, East Germany won 90% of the women’s swimming medals — “and nobody did anything.”
The swimmer who beat her, Petra Schneider, later offered to give the British swimmer the gold medal she cheated her out of winning, Davies recalled.
She insisted those athletes were victims, too, saying it was “heartbreaking” to see her ex-rival besotted with Davies’ then-baby daughter because she cannot have kids of her own.
“I said, ‘Thank you but it won’t mean anything unless they change the record books,’” Davies told the UK paper.
“Petra is really poorly,” Davies said. “She has heart problems, fertility problems. These young girls were guinea pigs,” she said, saying it was “unbelievably disgraceful” that Olympic officials turned a blind eye.
Similarly, she insisted that her current campaigning is purely about fairness and nothing to do with transphobia.
“I totally empathize with anyone that has gender dysphoria, and sport must be inclusive,” she said.
“But fairness has to come before inclusion so we have to find better ways of being inclusive rather than throwing women’s sport under the bus.”