BBC NEWS | Europe | East German doping trial resumes

East Germany athletes were 'chemical field tests'

bbc east german doping

The East German program was fully state sponsored and the most developed. State-endorsed doping began with the Cold War, when every Eastern Bloc gold was an ideological victory. The GDR's desire to ostensibly promote Soviet ideologies, mixed with advancements in medicine, inevitably led the GDR to use their athletes as a propaganda tool. A rare exception was the visit by the sports writer and former athlete Doug Gilbert of the Edmonton Sun , who said:. You look at races like that and think:

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I mean, the IOC and the Olympics were in the toilet , and they were worried about it falling apart. The justification was also served as such to the athlete. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. They have been left to live with the often appalling health problems associated with years of drug abuse, drugs that were often administered to children as young as eleven. They are the forgotten victims.

Most children would compete in youth sport centers and be scouted by the government, which resulted in the best prospects being taken for the purpose of intense Olympic training.

These children were expected to deliver great victories, and the state was willing to use anything at its disposal to ensure that. The advances in medicine and science meant that use of steroids , amphetamines , human growth hormones and blood boosting were common practice behind the scenes in training centers for professional athletes.

The Sportvereinigung Dynamo English: Sport Club Dynamo [6] was especially singled out as a center for doping in the former East Germany. The results of East German sportspeople appeared at the time to be an immense success: At these Olympics, the GDR, a country of 17 million, collected nine gold medals.

Four years later, the total was 20, and in , it doubled again to The results were impressive for East Germany but devastating for the athletes involved: Often, doping was carried out without the knowledge of the athletes, some of them as young as ten years of age.

It is estimated, that around 10, former athletes bear the physical and mental scars of years of drug abuse, [10] one of them is former swimmer Rica Reinisch , a triple Olympic champion and world record-setter at the Moscow Games in , has since suffered numerous miscarriages and recurring ovarian cysts. While the doping worked in achieving victories for the state and advancing a relatively small nation to prominence on the world stage, many concerns remain.

All victories by East German athletes are tainted due to the widespread use of drugs. Many former doctors and former athletes struggling with the side effects are bringing sports directors to court. The legacy of East German sport outlasted the country. At the same time, the Kreischa testing laboratory near Dresden passed into government control, which was reputed to administer around 12, tests a year on East German athletes, but without any being penalised.

In reverse of what the IAAF hoped, sending her home to East Germany meant that she was free to train unchecked with anabolic steroids, if she wanted to, and then compete for another gold medal, which indeed she won.

After the Slupianek affair, East German athletes were secretly tested before they left the country. Those who tested positive, were removed from international competition. Usually, such withdrawals were temporary, as they were intended to serve less as a punishment, but as a means to protect both the athlete and the East German team from international sanctions.

As it was, the media first in East Germany, and later outside, would usually be informed that the withdrawal was due to an injury sustained during training.

If the athlete was being doped in secret, as was often the case, their doctor would usually be ordered to fabricate a medical condition so as to justify the withdrawal of the athlete. The justification was also served as such to the athlete. The results of East Germany's internal drug tests were never made public — almost nothing emerged from the East German sports schools and laboratories. A rare exception was the visit by the sports writer and former athlete Doug Gilbert of the Edmonton Sun , who said:.

Other reports came from the occasional athlete who fled to the West. There were fifteen escapees between and One, the ski-jumper Hans-Georg Aschenbach , said: There are gymnasts among the girls who have to wear corsets from the age of 18 because their spine and their ligaments have become so worn Then on 26 August , well after the former GDR had disbanded itself to accede to the Federal Republic of Germany in , the records were opened, and the evidence was there, that the Stasi , the GDR state secret police, supervised systematic doping of East German athletes from until reunification in Virtually no East German athlete ever failed an official drugs test, though Stasi files show that many did indeed produce positive tests at Kreischa , the Saxon laboratory German: Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, an expert in performance-enhancing drugs, contended that doping existed in other countries both communist and capitalist, but the difference with East Germany was that it was a state policy.

Many former club officials of Sportsvereinigung Dynamo and some athletes found themselves charged after the dissolution of GDR. A special page on the internet was created by doping victims trying to gain justice and compensation, listing people involved in doping in the GDR. Two former Dynamo Berlin club doctors, Dieter Binus, chief of the national women's team from to 80, and Bernd Pansold , in charge of the sports medicine centre in East-Berlin, were committed for trial for allegedly supplying 19 teenagers with illegal substances.

Daniela Hunger and Andrea Pollack are the former Sport Club Dynamo athletes who publicly came forward and admitted to doping, accused their coaches. Manfred Ewald, who had imposed blanket doping in East Germany, was given a month suspended sentence to the outrage of his victims. In , fifteen years after the German reunification , the manufacturer of the drugs in former East Germany, Jenapharm , still finds itself involved in numerous lawsuits from doping victims, being sued by almost former athletes.

Based on an admission given by Andrea Pollack, the United States Olympic Committee asked for the redistribution of gold medals won in the Summer Olympics. In rejecting the American petition on behalf of its women's medley relay team in Montreal and a similar petition from the British Olympic Association on behalf of Sharron Davies , the IOC made it clear that it wanted to discourage any such appeals in the future.

In Brigitte Berendonk and Werner Franke , two opponents of the doping, published several theses which had been drafted former researchers in the GDR doping products which were at the Military Medical Academy Bad Saarow. Based on this work, in their book translated from German as Doping Documents they were able to reconstruct the practice of doping as it was organized by the State on many great athletes from the GDR, including Marita Koch and Heike Drechsler , who have denied the allegations.

Brigitte Berendonk survived a lawsuit where Drechsler accused her of lying. The lawsuit essentially validates the book. In , one of East Germany's best sprinters, Renate Neufeld , fled to the West with the Bulgarian she later married.

A year later she said that she had been told to take drugs supplied by coaches while training to represent East Germany in the Olympic Games. She brought with her to the West grey tablets and green powder she said had been given to her, to members of her club, and to other athletes.

The West German doping analyst Manfred Donike reportedly identified them as anabolic steroids. She said she stayed quiet for a year for the sake of her family. But when her father then lost his job and her sister was expelled from her handball club, she decided to tell her story. Andreas Krieger , then known as Heidi Krieger, competed as a woman in the East German athletics team, winning the gold medal for shot put in the European Championships in Athletics. From the age of 16 onward, Krieger was systematically doped with anabolic steroids , which have significant androgenic effects on the body.

She had already had doubts about her gender identity, and the chemical changes resulting from the steroids only exacerbated them.

Some East German competitors are launching a case against the German pharmaceutical giant Jenapharm. They claim that the East German firm knowingly supplied the steroids that were given to them by trainers and coaches from the s onwards until East Germany's demise in Jenapharm, now owned by Schering, argues it was not responsible for the doping scandal and blames the communist system.

Last month, meanwhile, Germany's athletics federation announced that it was checking 22 national records set by East German athletes. The investigation came after Ines Geipel, a member of the record-holding East German women's 4x metres relay team, asked for her record from to be struck off. She revealed she had been doped. This state-sponsored doping regime played a decisive role in the dazzling success of East German athletes in international competitions - most notably at the Montreal Olympics and the Moscow games.

But it also left a terrible legacy, the athletes' lawyers argue. The victims all received Oral-Turinabol - an anabolic steroid containing testosterone made by Jenapharm. The "blue bean" had astonishing powers - accelerating muscle build-up and boosting recovery times - but its subsequent side effects were catastrophic: An estimated athletes developed serious ailments. The most public face of the doping scandal is Andreas Krieger - a shot-putter who took so many male hormones she decided to have a sex change.

One of the few other victims to have spoken publicly about her plight is the swimmer Rica Reinisch, who at the age of 15 won three gold medals in the Olympics.

I was lied to and deceived. Whenever I asked my coach what the tablets were I was told they were vitamins and preparations. According to Prof Dr Werner Franke, a microbiologist who exposed the doping scandal after the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany's secret police kept meticulous records of the impact the drugs had on performance.

The aim was to show the superiority of the communist regime to its capitalist neighbour West Germany. In the Munich Olympics, East Germany - a country of 17 million - reached the top three in the medals table with the United States and the Soviet Union. Four years later, East German women won 11 of the 13 swimming events.

Franke contends that scientists from Jenapharm attended these secret committee meetings.

Iamges: bbc east german doping

bbc east german doping

The drug of choice was Oral-Turninabol, a steroid targeted particularly at young females because the effects were more dramatic, at a time when women's sport internationally was under-developed and therefore ripe for domination. Sport Club Dynamo [6] was especially singled out as a center for doping in the former East Germany.

bbc east german doping

It's because the state doesn't exist anymore that the truth can fully come out! The advances in medicine and science meant that use of steroids , amphetamines , human growth hormones and blood boosting were common practice behind the scenes in training centers for professional athletes.

bbc east german doping

Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. In all, the documents implicated 19 Olympic medallists from to There is however a doping culture which has been demonstarted with all the failed drug tests, Balco scandal etc. Many of those affected doing they have been let down by the authorities. Fromacross a bbc east german doping of just over a decade, East Germany won more medals than any other nation at three Olympic Games and two World Championships.