East Germany’s Steroid Shame

‘The victims of East Germany's doping program are still suffering’

east german athletes today

I don't feel like I won that race. What is interesting is that the unified Germany could have washed its hands of the entire issue by claiming that it was from a previous government no longer in existence. As an organization we put in requests at the Stasi records office and other archives, so they can find out what was done to them. I hope the girls who were cheated out of all of there hard work can finally be recognized. Thanks for revisiting this story. Send us an e-mail.

Doping in the GDR: 'Nothing remains of their success'

She was a great woman and a great athlete. Shirley was a superstar in that era! Bronte Campbell AUS When the right moment came, Mitbauer, smeared with 30 tubes of Vaseline against the cold water, slipped into the icy Baltic. I think the whole thing is very sad for both the East German women as well as we Americans. Jodie Henry AUS

The youngsters, trusting of their coaches, took them. The pills were of course steroids, Oral-Turinabol. There was no parental consent involved; indeed the youngsters were under strict instruction not to tell anyone they were taking them, let alone their parents. Then came the injections. Refusal was not an option.

When young girls started to grow facial hair and stop menstruating, and boys grew breasts and found their testes shrinking, parents who did question the coaches were threatened and told in no uncertain terms to desist. Many of these young girls, whose voices had become so deep, were prohibited from talking to foreign journalists. An estimated 10, East German athletes were doped. Their foreign rivals watched with astonishment as an hitherto unheard of East German with an unnaturally-shaped body came along and wiped the board with them, not just winning but winning by huge margins.

No amount of training could compete with these superhuman athletes. The work and dreams of dedicated and decent athletes were shattered by a nation so intent on cheating. Among the extreme cases was that of Heidi Krieger pictured who won the shot put gold at the European Athletics Championships. In , with the help of steroids, she could throw a shot put over 21 metres. Now, as a man in his mids, he can tolerate only the mildest exertion. Not so fortunate was year-old, Joerg Sievers.

A potential Olympic swimmer, on 17 January , Sievers was found drowned at the bottom of a swimming pool in his hometown of Magdeburg. His grieving parents were told he had been swimming while ill with influenza. Their request to see the autopsy report was denied. If they had, they would have seen that their poor son had suffered from an enlarged heart, damage to his liver and an infection of the spleen — all brought on as a direct consequence of state-authorized doping.

Renate Vogel, a swimmer, was another much feted by the regime. But, in , in the European Swimming Championships, despite being the favourite to win, she won silver, losing out to a West German rival. She realised that she had been used as a political weapon and with the realisation came the determination to defect. In September , under an assumed name, Vogel boarded a plane from Budapest to Munich and fled to freedom. If successful, they were accepted to state-run elite sports boarding schools aged 13 or even younger.

It was in these schools that the emerging athletes were unknowingly fed anabolic steroids, usually starting at age Refusing, she recalls, brought a penalty of another swimming round or 40 pushups. And West Germany used so-called good anabolics that you inject into the blood, whereas East Germany used the oral blue pill, which has much worse side effects.

Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now. As Franke knew, the substances cause permanent damage as well. According to the Doping-Opfer-Hilfe association for doping victims, 90 percent of the athletes recognised as doping victims have serious health issues.

One former weightlifter says that, due to a daily regime of hospital visits to treat diabetes and other ailments, he can no longer leave his home even for a day. Krieger-Krause, for example, acknowledges that she was no major star.

Several coaches and doctors have been convicted of causing bodily harm but were only fined or given suspended prison sentences. Krieger-Krause, forced to end her career prematurely due to severe depression and anorexia, also suffers from worn-out joints and a permanently damaged spine. The former swimmer is in her fifties. At least three athletes have died prematurely, as has a female West German athlete.

Then a photo of himself aged Several years after retiring in , the masculine Heidi underwent a sex change operation to become Andreas. Hard work will take you to the place you are meant to have….

Life is a path… Not a place or plateau. I remember watching that 4FREE relay…laying across my bed kicking like crazy, hoping to send extra power to them thru the tv??? Swimming World, thank you for the rich history you provide us about the most wonderful sport-Swimming. I appreciate that you have always stepped up to protect our sport and our swimmers and to set the wrongs right again. So excited to see this documentary-thank you! They had a child,but she would not let her be swimmer..

I was from West Germany…mostof the girls did not know what was done to them…After the wall came down,she was one of the first to leave.. I remember the size of these women and thought at the time that is not normal and not attractive. I have so much sympathy for all who have been affected by the actions of the East German officials.

Why have these women not offered to return their medals? Find News Search News. See All Subscription Offers. Camp Directory Featured Camps. Share is the 40th Anniversary of Olympics. Shirley was a superstar in that era! This breaks my heart…so many lives could have been so different! She deserves her gold medals. Read More Auburn vs. Arkansas Women 06 October Current Swimming World Issue.

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east german athletes today

If you look at the GDR's former athletes today, 80 percent of them now live on social welfare. Irma Schumacher NED Thank you for the report and comments by Ms Babashoff.

east german athletes today

She took such a beating in the press and it had to have hurt her so badly. The pills were of course steroids, Oral-Turinabol.

east german athletes today

But a late medal or acknowledgment will probably not assuage the feelings of having been robbed. Rather than congratulating the winners, specifically the DDR swimmers, as is customary in the true Olympic spirit of competition, description dun bal masque few of the American girls opted to cry sour grapes instead…. Women's metre butterfly world record holder long course 14 April — 21 August 9 June — 28 August atheltes The state focussed on individual sports, particularly swimming and east german athletes today, rather than team sports, purely on an economical basis — a whole team uses up a lot of resources yet can only win the one medal between them. East german athletes today with us in Facebook Messenger.