How East and West Germany abused and drained their athletesFilm Festival on Monday night before an already close-to-sold-out theater in Culver City. More to the point: So now it has happened. The flash back gernan to the Montreal Olympics, when the U. Telling steroid news 2012 first draft of history to the American faomus as it happened was ABC Sports, famous east german athletes it was hardly investigative in its coverage. But attention was turning to year-old Nadia Comaneci in gymnastics and decathlete Bruce Jenner in track and field.
Doping in East Germany - Wikipedia
The athletes say the terrible lifelong problems they suffered after being fed steroids by the communist state are a warning to any sportsman who is tempted to cheat. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall , promising kids as young as eight were pumped full of steroids in a win-at-all-costs quest for victory. It brought more than summer and winter Olympic medals between and — but at a terrible price. The stars of yesterday suffered severe depression , heart conditions, degenerative bone disease and infertility.
Some even changed sex because of the drugs. Many spiralled into drink and drug addictions, unable to find work. Olympic legend Coe, 59, now head of the athletics world governing body the IAAF, was called to account this week in the wake of the Russian doping scandal. Have there been failures? Will I fix them? And for East German athletes, the vast majority duped into taking drugs, that has meant ruined lives.
Shot putter Heidi Krieger suffered the opposite effect. Testosterone took her femininity. She changed sex and now lives as a man, teaching youngsters the dangers of pumping steroids in a bid for sporting glory. Heidi took so many steroids she is now Andreas. Drugs she was forced to take by coaches as a young girl changed her gender and left her with pain in her hips and legs from lifting huge weights while under the influence of steroids.
Nicknamed Hormone Heidi by rivals, she had a full sex-change operation in , completing the physical change. Doping agency declares Russia and four other countries "non-compliant".
Happily married to Ute Krause, a swimmer who was also a victim of the GDR system, Andreas shocks young people with photos of when he was Heidi. We had no choice because we were under a dictatorship. I tell them about Athlete 54, a woman who was given pills every day by her coach.
When I see photos, I accept that was me. That is the secret, the first step. I did not hide my past. It is not worth it. She is part of me still. Communist East Germany struggled to provide basics for its people, yet wanted to show the world its power through its athletes. It wrecked their lives. Secret police files revealed they had been given Oral-Turinabol, a steroid produced by pharmaceutical firm Jenapharm.
It was approved for some illnesses, but not meant as a performance enhancer. London bosses told during Games their drug-testing procedures were ''appalling''. That is roughly 1, milligrams more than the amount given to Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, whose doping programme shocked the world when it was exposed in Jenapharm argued it was not culpable, since the drug was legal but misused by trainers. Then a state-owned company, subservient to the wishes of the Communist regime during the s and s, it produced an estimated two million tablets per year given to GDR athletes.
We cannot be held responsible. Former GDR hammer thrower Thomas Gotze, 53, now a state prosecutor in Germany, was given so many pills as a teenager that he would work out for up to six hours. In 20 years, they will be just like us.
Ines Geipel, 55, part of a s world-beating East German sprint team and now a college lecturer, set up the group for GDR victims. But she has a stark message for President Vladimir Putin and the Russian athletes prepared to sacrifice everything for sporting glory: You will pay the price. It is about a state-controlled abuse. We are probably talking about 10 to 15, athletes in total. We saw kids as young as eight being doped.
They were guinea pigs and we have seen the health impact down the generations, passed from grandfather to grandchild. We have seen still births, infertility, disabled children born to former athletes. Ines says young athletes were often trapped in special training camps. Some mums revolted when daughters returned with deep voices, muscles, facial hair.
You cannot imagine now what it was like to live under state control then. Athletes were alone, we could not talk to each other out of fear of being found out and punished. Ex-GDR sprinter Marita Koch still holds the world record for the m, 30 years after she ran, but has always denied doping.
Her time of We were winners, we succeeded, and there was some jealousy of our success. Koch, 58, declines to answer questions on the GDR doping machine. But for her former team-mates, the Russian scandal is a terrible echo of the past, when a state-run sport programme played a grotesque game of poker with their lives.
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