Sharron Davies, 59, said sport 'has taught be to be resilient' in the face of 'hate and bullying'
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SHARRON DAVIES: Fighting with transgender bullies has left me on the brink of financial ruin

  • The Olympic swimmer said she had experienced ‘so much hate and bullying’ 
  • Sharron Davies, 59, has been outspoken on the rights of biological women
  • She said she had lost income because of her stance on the ‘toxic’ trans debate
  • The swimmer hit out at the ‘small minority’ of activists ‘who made my life hell’

British Olympian Sharron Davies today reveals how her campaign to stop transgender athletes competing in women’s sports led to her being shunned by charities and facing the threat of financial ruin.

In an interview with You magazine, the 59-year-old swimmer says she suffered a huge drop in income after anxious employers dropped her because of her stance on the ‘toxic’ transgender debate.

‘There’s been so much hate and bullying,’ she says. ‘It’s been very hard. Charities I’ve worked with for 30 years have dropped me, agents I’ve worked with for 30 or 40 years don’t use me any more, because the trans activists can be so vicious and malicious – they go after your work, after your brand, they attack everything.’

She describes how she was only able to stay afloat financially because of an inheritance from her mother, who died five years ago. 

Sharron Davies, 59, said sport 'has taught be to be resilient' in the face of 'hate and bullying'

Sharron Davies, 59, said sport ‘has taught be to be resilient’ in the face of ‘hate and bullying’ 

‘The money’s nearly gone now. But I can’t back down,’ she says. ‘If you have the courage of your convictions you have to back those up with evidence and science and then you just have to hold your ground.’

She tells of her pride and relief at the decision last month by the world swimming body (FINA) to ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s elite races. 

The debate was prompted in part by the recent success of the American transgender swimmer, Lia Thomas.

Davies hits out at the ‘very small minority of very vocal trans activists who have made my life hell’ and stresses her position is not anti-trans but rather about fairness for biological women. 

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas caused controversy when she won the women's 500 Freestyle Finals in March

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas caused controversy when she won the women’s 500 Freestyle Finals in March 

‘I have friends with trans children, I have made friends with lots of transgender people during this process because the majority totally understand. A lot just want to live their lives and think this argument is making things more difficult for them.’

Davies, who was robbed of Olympic gold in 1980 because of East Germany’s state-sponsored doping of athletes, reveals that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused a request by Petra Schneider, who beat her in 400 metre individual medley at the 1980 Moscow Games, to give the gold medal to its ‘rightful owner’.

But she reserves her ire for the IOC, rather than her former rival who she sees as a victim of the state-sponsored doping programme. 

‘It’s important to understand this was not a choice they had,’ says Davies. ‘This is why the IOC was so awful – it not only let down my generation but also these young girls, by allowing them to be treated like guinea pigs. 

‘Today Petra is very poorly. She has heart problems, she had one child but she couldn’t have any more. I went to visit her – it was really sad.’

Davies says she draws on her career to find the strength to keep going. ‘Sport has taught me to be resilient – you get knocked down seven times and get up eight times.’

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