The discovery of the first synthetic hormones exacerbated the problem of doping in sports.
Reports from the 1930s reported that the German national team swallowed so-called miracle pills and some footballers confessed their use in magazines. These were stimulants and hormonal preparations. In English football too, plenty of experiments were done during that time.
In 1930, German sports scientist Carl Krümmel (1895-1942) published his 'Handbuch der lebenswichtigen Leibesübungen' in which he stated that the spread of doping was heavily underestimated.
"Is drug-related influence in sport possible?"
asked Professor Otto Riesser (1882-1949), a pharmacologist at the University of Wroclaw, in 1930 in the academic journal 'Leibesübungen'. It was also Riesser who in 1933, in a speech at the annual meeting of the German Swimming Federation, made the doctors and the sports associations responsible for the development
In 1930, the use of doping was so generally accepted in the Tour de France that the regulation book of Henri Desgrange (1865-1940) explicitly stated that doping products would not be provided by the organization.
The use of the 'Pot Belge' by European cyclists was an example of a crossover between recreational and performance-enhancing drug abuse. 'Pot Belge' is a French term for an illegal mixture of doping, usually consisting of cocaine, heroin, caffeine, amphetamines and painkillers. A French publication noted that it could also be called 'insane person mix', with which it was not clear whether this referred to the potential results of the use, or rather suggested that "you had to be crazy to take it". The mixture was very popular with professional cyclists, and also amateurs took it.
There were rumors that skiers were taking Coramin and Digifolin and that the female skiers underwent treatments with hormones to postpone their menstruations for important competitions.
After their victories at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, rumors circulated that Japanese swimmers were being pumped with oxygen. Other sources mentioned even the drinking of nitroglycerin.
Pharmaceutical company Smith, Kline and French, which later became known as GlaxoSmithKline, marketed amphetamine sulphate in the United States under the name of Benzedrine, as a bronchodilator inhaler, with asthma as the main indication.
Former Belgian cycling champion Gaston Rebry (1905-1953) sprinted to victory like a madman in the nineteenth stage of the Tour de France. If strong arms had not dragged him off his bike, he'd have cycled in the nearby sea. He raved as if he had a severe fever and shouted that he had to ride to Paris. His wife handed him his son who he did not recognize, he wildly struck out left and right, a shocking picture. At that time, insiders realized that his manager Beckmann was the biggest 'mixer' among the managers. Rebry died at the age of 48 from the consequences of a heart attack.
In his prophetic work 'Doping and doping substances', German physician Otto Rieser (1894-1977) discussed not only the doping prevalence but also the fault of medical professionals.
"The use of artificial means to improve performance has long time been considered incompatible with the spirit of sport and therefore condemned. However, we all know that this rule is being violated again and again, and that sports competitions are often more a matter of doping than training. It is regrettable that those charged with supervising sport seem to lack the energy to start a campaign against this evil and that a lax and fateful attitude is spreading. The doctors are also not without fault to this state of affairs, partly because of their ignorance, partly because they prescribe strong drugs with doping, which are not available without a prescription for athletes."
In 1933 the word doping had become part of the English language. While Rieser and others continued to oppose doping, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) only agreed in 1967 with a policy of doping control, which had to banish the use of specific drugs.
Swiss Croatian-born chemist Leopold Ružicka (1887-1976) discovered the use of steroids for medical applications, specifically to combat certain diseases such as cancer. In 1934 he unraveled the molecular effect of androsterone, the year after that of progesterone and testosterone.