Doping and sports - 1963


The Italians installed their doping commission.


The Council of Europe described doping as follows:

"The administration to, or the use by, a competing athlete of any substance foreign to the body or any physiological substance taken in abnormal quantity or by an abnormal route of entry into the body, with the sole intention of increasing in an artificial and unfair manner his performance in competition."

American Football

Shortly after the weightlifters and the throwers, the players of American Football also started with anabolic steroids. In 1963, the 'San Diego Chargers' offered Alvin Roy (1920-1979) the very first strength coach contract in paid football. As a former assistant coach of the American Olympic weightlifting team, he was well acquainted with anabolic steroids and so he also introduced Dianabol in American football. Some of the players claimed not to know that the small pink pills next to their plate were anabolic steroids and added they were fined if they refused to swallow the pills.


The American magazine ‘Muscle Builder’ published in May 1963 that the most famous bodybuilders did not owe their appearance only to hard training and healthy diet. Rumors had it that Joe Abbenda (1939-) and Bill Pearl (1930-) used Dianabol, while Tom Sansone (1935-1974) probably also used Dianabol but still preferred Nilevar. It was the very first time that a bodybuilding specialist wrote about anabolic steroids, although the editors did not know exactly what the substances were. Or just pretended they did not know.


In February 1963, seven Neapolitan players were suspended for doping. In July four players from 'FC Genoa' followed. They got a ban on play and the club had to cough up a nine million Lire fine.

The English football club 'Everton FC' played champion in the season 1962-1963. According to a national newspaper it happened with the help of Benzedrine. The magazine quoted keeper Albert Dunlop (1932-1990):

"I can not remember when we were offered them for the first time, but they were handed out in the locker room. We were not obliged to take them, but most players did. Usually white tablets, only once or two also yellow. Once we started we could get as much as we wanted. They were available on competition days and quite quickly some players could not live without them."

The club admitted they had dispensed pills, but that they probably had no harmful effects. Dunlop, however, knew that he became addicted to them.


In 1963, many cyclists had to leave the Tour of Austria, among them the entire Austrian team. At a screening just before the stage to the Grossglockner, amphetamines and other stimulants were found in the jerseys of many top racers. Apparently the gentlemen had not learned their lesson, because in 1964 and in 1965 this scenario repeated itself.

The Italian time trial 'Grand Prix de Forli' was contested from 1958 to 1979. In the first editions, the battle for victory was always fought by Frenchman Jacques Anquetil (1934-1987) and Italian Ercole Baldini (1933-). Anquetil won the contest three times, Baldini was the best four times. On the eve of one of those editions they dined together and because they were the strongest, they agreed to do it this time without amphetamines, only on sparkling water. Both kept their word, but on the following day they drove an average of 1.5 kilometers slower than the years before, which on they decided that this has been the last time.

The German cyclist Dieter Kemper (1937-), who was mainly active on the track, reported years later what happened in the pack during the 1960s:

"In the 1960s, the first cyclists showed up with a bandage around the arm. Beneath it syringes that they used at will during the race. Anti-depressants were used in addition to products that provided extra breath. Belgium was the epicenter of doping in that time, our caretakers and masseurs went there to buy their products. There were teams where the cyclists dropped their pants to get an injection before the start. I even saw a cyclist who injected himself through his shorts. Later appeared the anabolics and the products that change the muscles and the body. That took your health.  One of the first to swallow was Günther Haritz (1948-). Once he just left right in the middle of a race."