Doping and sports - 1972 - Olympics

1972 Olympics

At the Munich Games, the first anti-doping laboratory was opened, of which Manfred Donike (1933-1995) was in charge. Only amphetamines were tested.

Rumors circulated at those Games that many female American athletes were using anabolic steroids and that their use had spread among runners and mid-range runners, swimmers, rowers and many other athletes. In addition, statistics showed that between 1956 and 1972 the weight of shot puters had increased by 14%, and in steeplechasers by 7.6%.

The American discus thrower Jay Silvester (1937-) did an anonymous survey of one hundred athletes from the United States, Russia, Egypt, New Zealand, Canada and Morocco and showed that 68% of the Olympics used anabolic steroids, 61% with foreknowledge and during the Games themselves.


Iin 2011 in an interview with the German newspaper 'Frankfurter Allgemeine', Richard Westerhoff (1930-), who accompanied the hammer throwers at the Olympics, revealed that his athletes did not just take anabolics, but devoured them. The anabolics were richly displayed on the table and they were firmly convinced that much also yielded much. Moreover, no one took offense.

Rumors wanted the Russian Valerie Borzov (1949-), who won gold on the 100 and 200m, to take daily 35 mg Dianabol, an anabolic steroid from the GDR that could not be detected at the time.


At the Olympic Games, Spaniard Jaime Huélamo (1948-2014) finished third in the individual road race. But later on he was disqualified because he tested positive for coramine.

Dutchman Aad van den Hoek (1951-) tested positive for Coramine during the Munich Olympics. Curiously, the drug was admitted by the International Cycling Federation, but not by the IOC.

Siegfried Denk (1951-1982) was suspended for life by the Austrian cycling federation, after he had accused Bernhard Pruski (1929-), the trainer of the national team, of doping at the Munich Olympics. Pruski, for his part, gained full confidence again from the Austrian Association. Denk committed suicide shortly after his 31st birthday.

Ice hockey

German Alois Schloder (1947-) had to leave the Winter Olympics in Sapporo and was suspended for eighteen months due to the use of ephedrine, which team doctor Franz Schlickenlieder had prescribed to him. Later in court he could prove his innocence and four years later he was back in Innsbruck, this time as captain of his team.

Team physician Otto Trefny (1932-) got a lifetime suspension because he had deliverd the products.


Bakhvain Buyadaa (1946-) from Mongolia won the silver medal in the category up to 63 kg but was disqualified for the use of caffeine.


American Rick DeMont (1956-) won the gold medal 400m freestyle and as a favorite he also qualified for the 1.500m. However, he could pak his suitcase after the doping control showed the use of ephedrine. As an asthmatic patient he was allowed to use that product but the American medical staff had forgotten to report this to the IOC.


Austrian weightlifter Walter Legel (1940-1999) had been on amphetamines and was therefore expelled. He participated in the Games of 1960, 1972, 1976 and 1980.

Mohammad Nasehi (1944-) from Iran was sent home because of ephedrine use.


Swede Per 'Pelle' Svensson (1943-) wanted to get gold at any cost in the Greek Roman style at the heavyweights. In 1970 and 1971 he won the World Cup, after winning silver in the 1964 Games and finishing fourth four years later. He was willing to do anything to make his golden dream come true. So he started to use testosterone injections.

"After 12 syringes of testosterone, I felt my energy double, but the negative effects also emerged: nervousness, bad mood, liver in bad condition ... At the same time and without any special reason, I piled up muscle injuries. First I tore my right deltoid muscle then the left large back muscle, I had become too strong for my tendons and muscle fibers ... Four months before the Munich Games, I ruptured a calf muscle .... I had never experienced that in the previous eighteen years The torn muscles healed within three weeks, but I moved in a more and more bizarre way. My family and friends thought I was drunk, but the liver did not function well because of the testosterone, its elimination capacity was greatly reduced."

Despite having stopped with the injections, Svensson continued to experience its effect. After winning a difficult victory in the qualifying round of the Olympic tournament against the young Bulgarian talent Khristo Ignatov (1953-), in the second round he met Norwegian Tore Hem (1944-) which he had knocked out of the tournament easily in Mexcico four years before.

"At the start of the game I felt a searing pain in the back, from the bottom to the top of the neck, just like someone was working me with a hot iron... I was instantly unconscious ... When I woke up, I lay on a massage table in the locker room, I could not move, my left arm and the left side of my chest were dead. Our delegation doctor leaned over me and told me my latissimus dorsi was completely torn, the Games were done for me."