Channel 5: The Olympic Drug Scandal

Alice Purnell


Issue 40
Winter 2007

On Sept 18th on Chan 5 was "The Great Olympic Drug Scandal" a documentary which followed the East German Olympic and International athlete scandal which we all suspected.

It seems they and the Soviets enhanced the performance of their female athletes by anabolic hormones and even injections of Testosterone during the late 60's through to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of that totalitarian regime. These drugs were given even to pre-pubescent girls, but with the medals and glory the DDR were not concerned with the long-term effects on these women.

They were controlled by the Secret Police and trainers and doctors in their pay. The girls had no idea what these pills and injections were until voices deepened, beards appeared, as well as the increased muscle mass. What is particularly sinister, the doses given could and sometimes did cause liver damage as well as masculinising effects, made worse by very intensive exercise programmes. They avoided drug test detection by ceasing these drugs 2 weeks before events, but many of us remember Amazonian androgynous women and the medals they won by this fraud.

Many are now trying to sue those responsible. German thoroughness meant that at reunification of Germany, the papers were released, and show this cynical plan.

It deprived these athletes of the chance of winning medals fairly, cheated others of victory and left many badly affected by this programme of masculinisation. One now is a man married to his ex-colleague from the DDR women's team. Others are ridiculed, called queers, dykes or freaks.

All that glitters is not gold.

What might be of scientific importance to the transmen in our community is that a follow up of side effects could possibly be made.

Sadly there is very little research on longitudinal effects of hormones or lack of them in the trans community.

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