Doping and sports - 1967


The European Council rewrote its definition on doping:

"Doping is the administration to or the use by a healthy individual, in whatever manner, of substances that are foreign to the organism or of physiological substances in abnormal quantities or by abnormal means, for the sole purpose of artificial and dishonest influencing the performance of this person in his or her participation in competitions."

The IOC decided that athletes who participated in the Olympics had to sign a declaration that they were not using foreign substances to improve their performance.

The masculine appearance of many female GDR athletes led to speculation in the mid-1960s, either they were hermaphrodites, or they were men disguised as women. In response, chromosome tests were introduced during the 1967 European Cup of Athletics. Although a number of athletes did indeed fail in this screening and others disappeared mysteriously before they were tested, the question could be asked whether many of these suspect women were 'genetic rarities' or whether they were administrated testosterone or other anabolic steroids.

Political responsibility in connection with doping was questioned. French minister Maurice Herzog (1919-2012) for example, was accused of having instituted a bad law that only focused on cycling, while himself, as an avid alpinist, had climbed the Annapurna with the help of the forbidden amphetamine Maxiton.


American Dick Howard (1935-1967), who had won the bronze medal 400m hurdles at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, died of an heroin overdose in November 1967.

When the Romanian high jumpster Iolanda Balas (1936-2016) ended her sports career in 1967, she had won 150 consecutive contests and she improved the world record fourteen times. She brought it from 1m74 to 1m91. Although she was never caught, rumors circulated that she had used anabolics.


French rider Roger Rivière (1936-1976) appeared before the court of St Etienne in France together with three doctors, for illegal use and prescription of Palfium. Rivière was prescribed that synthetic opium preparation as a painkiller after his heavy fall in 1960, where he remained paralyzed. However, he became addicted to it and went to ask three doctors at the same time. Every day he swallowed 53 tablets of the stuff. The Court was mild and condemned the four to a fine of 200 French francs (= 30 Euro).

During the climb of the Mont Ventoux in the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France in 1967, English cyclist Tom Simpson (1937-1967) fell from his bike and died. The autopsy afterwards showed high doses of methamphetamine, coming from the bottle that they had found in his pocket. But alcohol in combination with a diuretic also played a role. The impact of his death was enormous, especially because it was the first doping death that was broadcasted live on television. Later, large amounts of other medicines were found in his hotel room.

After the penultimate stage of the Tour de France, amphetamines and metylamphetamine was found during a check of the first three of the race, Swiss rider René Bingelli (1941-2007), German Herbert Wilde (1940-) and Belgian Michel Jacquemin (1942-). Jacquemin accused the caretaker of the Belgian team, Maurits Depauw (1924-1993), that he had injected him with vitamins. Depauw denied but claimed that he gave his cyclists vitamin C for each ride. Jacquemin was acquitted because it was not proven that he had deliberately doped.

Because he had tampered with the urinary bottles, Dutch cyclist Evert Dolman (1946-1993) had to surrender his newly conquered national title. Two years earlier he had also become Dutch champion with the amateurs, but afterwards he was caught using amphetamines. A doctor's prescription for nasal drops, however, pleaded for him then.

Shortly after the death of Simpson, many former riders came with confessions. Jean Bobet (1930-), for example, admitted that he had swallowed Metedrine in Paris-Tours in 1958, and although he had not won, he had felt a winners' desire and a combative spirit throughout the match.

Five-time Tour de France winner Jacques Anquetil (1934-1987) stated:

"Riders have been using stimulants for fifty years, and of course we can do without them, but we'll race every race against 25 instead of at 37km per hour, because we're constantly asked to go faster and make even more effort."

He recorded in l'Equipe

"One must be crazy or hypocritical to think that a professional rider who races 235 days a year can continue without stimulants."

In the newspaper 'Le Monde' he went one step further:

"It is not difficult to accuse me of doping, just look at my buttocks, they look like a colander."

In a television debate with a French minister, he said that only a fool could think that Bordeaux-Paris or the Dauphiné Libéré could run on mineral water.

"In addition, the riders have to ride through the cold, through heat waves, in the rain and over mountains and that is why they have the right to treat themselves as they wish, everyone takes doping."

Doping was even accepted by Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970). ), the French President said about Anquetil:

"Doping? Which doping? Did he let the Marseillaise play abroad or not."

Raymond Poulidor (1936-) told the following about his team manager Antonin Magne (1904-1983) (photo):

"At the end of each ride he swung his pendulum over each rider of the team, but also over vials with homeopathic products.As soon as the pendulum vibrated, this meant that the rider reacted 'positively' and he got a few drops of the substance."

Winner Désiré Letort (1943-2012) tested positive for amphetamines after the French championship, which he later admitted during a radio interview.

On September 23, 1967, the young Belgian cyclist Roger de Wilde (1942-1967) died during a competition in Kemzeke. The autopsy afterwards indicated an enormous amount of performance-enhancing drugs prohibited by law. For example, large amounts of amphetamine were found in his urine.

In an interview with the German weekly magazine 'Stern', the former Belgian rider Martin Van Geneugden (1932-2014) revealed that he took a lot of banned drugs from 1950 to 1963 and that he became addicted to it. Insofar that he still used them to feel happy