Doping and sports - 1986


The American National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) started doping controls only in 1986.

The US Food and Drug Administration limited the medical use of anabolics and even took some substances of the market, such as Dianobol.

The Medical Commission of the IOC included diuretics in its list of banned substances.

In 1986, all urine samples from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow were tested again in Cologne's doping lab. This showed that an increased Testosterone / Epitestosterone ratio was found in 7.5% of the samples of female athletes, which indicated the use of doping.

Doping in the GDR

One of the most famous doping cases was that of Heidi Krieger (1966-). From the age of thirteen, the East German shot putter had to train twice a day, when she was sixteen she was forced to swallow small blue pills. Not only the weight she had to lift increased daily, the number of pills also increased and she got injections as well. In 1986 she won the gold medal with 21m10 at the European Championships in Stuttgart, she had just turned 21. Paralyzed by pain she had to be operated on her back, knees and hips shortly afterwards. As a result, she did not have any pain anymore, but her strongly developed muscles did not seem to be hers anymore. She no longer felt at home in her own body, refused to wear women's clothes and was even ashamed of going to the women's toilet. She became aggressive and depressed and felt like she was a man. The reason was only discovered after the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Hormones Heidi" as she was called by her coaches, was stuffed with huge doses of testosterone, two and a half times the amount that East German sport scientists had recommended in their secret manuals. Krieger, who was made non-active in 1990 due to liver complications, later declared:

"They did not care about the dangers and damage, we were just the guinea pigs for their different experiments, which were performed to boost the prestige of the political class and the communist system. It is unbelievable that they were prepared to sacrifice many young vulnerable people for that purpose."

At the end of her sports career she received daily 30 mg anabolic steroids, a lot more than Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson (1961-) at the peak of his drug program.

In 1997, Krieger underwent a complete sex change.

"I no longer had sympathy for my own body," she/he said, "it had changed unrecognizably, it was as if they had killed Heidi, so becoming Andreas was the next logical step."

On 2 May 2000, Manfred Hoppner (1934-) and Manfred Ewald (1926-2002), the masterminds behind the GDR doping program, were summoned before a Berlin court for inflicting bodily injuries. Prior studies showed that ex-athletes showed a range of medical complications, from cancer to psychological trauma and from liver damage to pregnancy problems. More than 140 former East German athletes appeared as witnesses, hoping to finally close one of the most sinister sports episodes.

For Krieger, the process also took a different turn on his life. On the other side of the public gallery was the former swimming talent Ute Krause (1966-), who was also broken by the GDR doping and who had even attempted suicide in 1983. When their eyes crossed, the world changed for both.

"I saw Andreas in court and it was wow," Krause said, "I knew immediately that he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with."

After the trial, Krieger went to live in Berlin with Krause and her daughter Katja from a previous relationship. They married a while later.

American Football

In a 1986 article in Sports Illustrated, Howie Long (1960-), defender at the Los Angeles Raiders, gave an estimate of steroid use in the NFL:

"At least 50% in the big boys, 75% in the attack lines, 40% in the defense lines and 35% in the linebackers."

In the same article Johnie Cooks (1958-), linebacker at the Indianapolis Colts stated:

"Anabolic steroids are the biggest problem in the NFL."

Cooks could barely walk after his career and walking caused him a lot of pain. Two different doctors declared him disabled, which was recognized by the American government and for which he received benifits.

Steve Courson (1955-2005), who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1977 to 1985, stated that 75% of the linesmen in the NFL were on steroids and at least 95% had tried it.

The arrival of Lou Holtz (1937-) also meant the start of the anabolic use at Notre Dame Indiana, the whole football team was flooded with products. Strangely enough, the same Holtz became a celebrated football analyst on American TV


Lonnie Smith (1955-), a former Major League Baseball outfielder, made his debut for the Philadelphia Phillies and later played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles. He overcame his drug abuse and grew into one of the top players of the 1980s. In total, he won three World Series.

On 28 February 1986, Commissioner Peter Ueberroth (1967-) confirmed the suspension of eleven baseball players, seven of whom received a full season ban. The players were allowed to buy off their suspension by donating 10% of their salary to a drug program and executing a community service of 100 hours. Reason for the suspension was a positive test for cocaine, marijuana, morphine or heroin.

Enos Cabell (1949), first and third baseman in Major League Baseball, played fifteen seasons for the Baltimore Orioles, the Houston Astros, the San Francisco Giants, the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers. On February 28, 1986, Cabell and six others were suspended for the entire season after admitting cocaine abuse during the Pittsburgh drug trials.

Lary Sörensen (1955-), who pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants in the Major League Baseball, was suspended on February 28, 1986 for sniffing cocaine. Even after his playing career his abuse continued but he was also caught drunk several times. The sixth offense cost him a prison sentence of several years. On 16 October 1999 he was arrested with 0.35 per mille in the blood. A month later he was arrested again with 0.24 per mille. On February 2, 2008, a policeman found him unconscious behind the wheel of his car in a ditch, with 0.48 promille and alcohol poisoning. One expert stated that half of the population would never survive such a high blood alcohol level. After his sporting career, he worked as a TV reporter for baseball competitions and was host to several radio programs. After serving a prison sentence, Sörensen worked for three months at McDonald's in Roseville, Michigan. He had been married for 24 years, but his alcohol and drug addiction led to a divorce.

Al Holland (1952-) pitched from 1980 to 1986 with the Philadelphia Phillies in the American Major League Baseball. In 1986 he was suspended for sixty days after he admitted the use of cocaine. That sentence was later converted into an anti-drug donation and community service.


During the world championship of bodybuilding in Tokyo, there was the first time a doping check, 13 bodybuilders from all five categories tested positive.


At the 1986 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Reno, Luis Román Rolón (1968-) won the silver medal at the bantam weights. Later he was disqualified after a positive doping test.


In 1986 legendary English cricket player Ian Botham (1955-) was suspended for two months for smoking cannabis.


In November 1986, the French drug brigade found a large amount of amphetamines and methamphetamines during a raid during the Bercy six-days. Two years later, nineteen riders were indicted for this and no less than forty doctors and apothecaries. French rider Eric Ramelet (1955-) was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, of which sixteen conditionally, one doctor was fined one hundred and fifty thousand French francs (= 22,500 Euro) and received a six months' professional ban.


The football field of the Bolivian club Olligio was only 40 meters away from the border with Venezuela. Again and again the ball flew across the border during competitions or trainings, until the police discovered that cocaine was being smuggled this way. Goalkeeper Hector Munoz was the leader the drugs gang.

Ice hockey

Swedish ice hockey player Börje Salming (1951) played for the Detroit Red Wings in the American NHL. After he announced in an interview with a newspaper that he was using cocaine, 'The King' was banned for eight matches.


German biathletes Peter Angerer (1959-) and Franz Wudy (1969-) were caught during the World Championships in Oslo on the use of testosterone and had to hand in their gold medals.

Track and Field

In January 1986, the German newspaper 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung' published the article 'Die Bekenntnisse des Kugelstoßers Gerd Steines', in which the former German shot putter and discus thrower Gerhard Steines (1947-) explained his doping perils in detail and did not shy away to give names. He had been using anabolics since 1970, but had sharp criticism of sports officials and sports authorities who officially stated that they strongly condemned their use, but did little or nothing to find the products, let alone penalize their use.

"In the summer of 1970, for the first time I took anabolics, diluted with 10 milligrams of Dianabol every day for three weeks, which was later increased to twenty milligrams a day for three to four weeks, then nothing for four weeks, and then restarted the regimen. I also stopped for announced doping tests, because orally anabolics are no longer detectable after eight days, but remain active for a few days later, the dose has increased to thirty milligrams a day, with several months of rest in spring and autumn because they were not needed during those periods of construction, the products were not a problem, in Heidelberg I got them free from doctors, dentists and students. I was able to put past twenty meters this way."


Canadian weightlifters Jacques Demers (1960-), the silver medal for the middleweights at the 1984 Olympics, Glenn Dodds (1962-) and Matio Parente (1964-2006) were suspended for life because of doping. Demers and Parente had already been charged because they imported steroids via the Mirabel Airport of Montreal.

The announcement came from Canadian Minister of Sports Otto Jelinek (1940-) (photo) and discus thrower Rob Gray (1956-) and the shot putters Mike Spiritoso (1963-) and Peter Dajia (1964-) were given a life-long suspension.