Doping and sports - 1985


The pharmaceutical companies Genetech and Lily started the production of the synthetic growth hormone hGH, which was much cheaper than the natural form.

On 21 January, the French newspaper l'Equipe reported that the US Cycling Association (USCF) executive committee admitted that a number of American riders, whose identity was not released, had undergone blood transfusions just before the Los Angeles Olympics.

The USCF confirmed that it had not issued penalties. The three leaders of the Olympic Team Mike Fraysse (1943-), secretary of the Cycling Federation, Eddie Borysewicz (1939-), the Polish coach of the team and Ed Burke (1949-2002) director of the training program were made responsible for this.

Hungarian sports doctor Torma confessed that anabolics in his country was an integral part of top sport.

An article in the German magazine 'Stern' reported that seventy fatal doping victims were recorded in the Western medical literature, but that fifty Soviet athletes could be added to it.

Czechoslovakian physician L. Schmid of the Prague Institute of Sports Medicine studied 780 athletes' corpses, of which 218 had malignant tumors presumably due to doping. Since 1983, more than thirty cases of liver cancer have been known after prolonged anabolic use.


Hungarian discus thrower János Faragó (1946-1984) died from the consequences of liver and kidney damage. Through medication, he had increased his weight by 45 kilos to bring it to 130 kilos.

During the European Championships, Czech discus-thrower Josef Šilhavý (1946-) and his compatriot shot-putter Remigius Machura (1960-) (photo) were caught using illegal drugs.

In 1984 Bulgarian Ljudmila Andonowa (1960-) brought the world record high jump at 2m07. After a meeting one year later, she tested positive for amphetamines.


A survey in the United States showed that 40% of the seven hundred professional baseball players used cocaine. It was thought that the proportion in the two hundred million amateurs was the same.

Alfred Willis Holland (1952-), from 1980 to 1986 relief pitcher in the Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, California Angels and New York Yankees, was summoned as a witness in 1985 in the scandal around the Pittsburgh drug trials. After he admitted his cocaine use, he was suspended for sixty days. Afterwards, the suspensions of Holland and ten other players were reduced to anti-drug donations and services to the community.

Keith Barlow Hernandez (1953-) played from 1983 to 1989 as first baseman at the New York Nets in Major League Baseball. His cocaine use was also revealed during the Pittsburgh process. Hernandez got rid of his addiction and became a baseball analyst with TV channel WPIX.

Dale Berra (1956-) played from 1977 to 1987 infielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and Houston Astros in the Major League Baseball. On September 9 1985 he confessed that he had sniffed cocaine with his team mates Lee Lacy (1948-), John Milner (1949-2000), Dave Parker (1951-), Lee Mazzilli (1955-) and Rod Scurry (1956-1992). In April 1989, Berra was indicted for distributing large amounts of cocaine, and he would have traded between fifteen and twenty thousand dollars weekly in his hometown Essex Count, New Jersey.

John Miller (1949-2000) confessed that he had used cocaine from 1978 to 1984, which he bought for two hundred dollars per two grams in the shower rooms of the stadium. He also admitted that he used 'red juice', a liquid amphetamine, which he bought from Willie Mays (1931-), a former player of the New York Mets, and 'greenies', another amphetamine, his teammates Dale Berra (1956-) and Dave Parker (1951-) traded. In turn, they got hold of former player Willie Stargell (1940-2001). Milner died in 2000 after a long battle against lung cancer.

Rodney Scurry (1956-1992) was pitcher for eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners in the Major League. During the trial he confessed that he had bought cocaine at least nineteen times between 1982 and 1983. On October 29, 1992, Scurry was found in the front yard of his house, anxiously whining that his house was full of snakes that crept on him and had bitten him. When policemen wanted to handcuff him, he became violent and he suddenly stopped breathing. The following week he died in the Washoe Medical Center of a heart attack, caused by his excessive cocaine use.


Danish rider Kim Andersen (1958-) was suspended for one month after being caught in the Tour of Latium for the use of norephidrine. The following year he was disqualified in the Fleche Wallone, Paris-Camembert and the Tour of North-West Switzerland. When he tested positively to testosterone in 1987 during the Tour of Limousin, he was the first rider to be suspended for life. Strangely enough that suspension was shortened to a year, but in 1992 he was caught again during the Amstel Gold Race because he had taken aneptim. Now the lifelong suspension was a fact. To the surprise of many, he became a sports director at CSC.


At the World Championships power lifting, five American participants were excluded because they had used anabolic steroids.

German weightlifter Karl-Heinz Radschinsky (1953-), who was Olympic champion one year earlier, was captured when he sold 220,000 pills and hundreds of syringes of anabolics for a value of two hundred thousand Deutsche Mark (= 100,000 Euro). A pharmacist who was also a bodybuilder was part of the conspiracy but did not think he was guilty:

"If they had not received the stuff from me, someone else would have delivered it to them."