Doping and sports - 1990


To treat hypogonadism, a transdermal patch of testosterone was invented.

Shortly after New Year the official annual 1989 report appeared of the doping cases in Russia. 33 positive cases were discovered during internal controls, including 15 weightlifters, 5 body builders, 2 speed skaters, 1 modern pentathletes, 1 cyclist and 1 shot putter.

In the 1990s, not only weightlifting and athletics were interwoven with performance-enhancing drugs, the use of anabolic steroids, growth hormone and EPO was also found in hockey, swimming, cycling, skiing, volleyball, wrestling, handball, pentathlon, bobsleigh and football.

After a long investigation into drug use in Olympic sports, American sports journalists Michael Bamberger (1960-) and Don Yaeger concluded that three classes of top athletes had emerged. A small group did not use prohibited products. In a second, larger and growing group, drug use went by unnoticed, because these athletes took drugs that could not be detected, or they took drugs in quantities accepted by the IOC or they took substances that masked the presence of drugs in their body. The third group were amateurs who used prohibited products and who were also caught.

The US Congress started its Anabolic Steroids Control Act. It classified the trade of steroids as a serious crime and not just as a violation.

In 1990 the Australian Sports Drug Agency was established.

Doping was not only a disease in competitive sports. To be calm, Spanish torero's smoked a joint before stepping in an arena with a five hundred kilos bull.

Doping in the GDR

After the fall of communism, most East German coaches looked for work elsewhere. A number of them went to China. The Chinese even founded the National Research Institute, a high-quality laboratory for sports sciences that was very similar to the GDR Research Institute for Physical Culture and Education in Leipzig. Shortly afterwards, relatively unknown Chinese women entered the spotlight in swimming, athletics and weightlifting. Immediately accusations of doping practices followed and the comparisons with the GDR were countless. Moreover, these accusations were confirmed by the large number of positive doping tests of 29 Chinese athletes and 19 swimmers.

In March 1990, Michael Regner (1953-), the former swimming coach of ASK Potsdam, gave a detailed description of the doping system in the GDR in the magazine 'Der Spiegel'.

Also the story of weightlifter Mario Schult (1966-) became known, who, because of an elbow injury at the 1988 Games in Seoul suddenly walked around with his arm in cast and therefore could not participate. The real reason, however, was that Schult was accidentally given anabolics and would respond positively to a possible doping test. For the Games he was tipped as a medal winner, in six months he had improved his performance with 42.5 kilos.

The GDR tried to belittle or ignore the statements of various athletes and coaches. This came to an end when Manfred Höppner (1934-) handed over documents at the end of November 1990 to the weekly 'Stern', in which the use of doping in the GDR was discussed in detail.

Exact specifications about individual applications of anabolics were mentioned and names of well-known athletes such as long-jumper Heike Drechsler (1964-) and swimmer Kristin Otto (1966-).


The official Russian daily Istvestija published that bodyybuilder Nikolai Schilow (1964-1990), the year before in Oslo European champion in the category up to 65kg, died in a hospital in Moscow from the consequences of a long-term use of high-dose doping products

American professional bodybuilder Shawn Ray (1965) tested positive for steroids during the Arnold Schwarzenegger Cup.


The Public Prosecutor's Office of the 16th Paris Criminal Court demanded severe penalties for fourteen cyclists and a bunch of doping traffickers. Everything had started during the Six Days of Bercy, where inspectors found tonsedron, pervitin and eubine in an invasion. In addition, they discovered the lists of customer names plus the price for the products paid by the riders. Six months provisional and twenty thousand French francs was the demand against the doping sinners. For the suppliers, who had bought about a thousand boxes of tonedron of forty French francs per piece, but sold that forbidden product to 1,300 to 1,600 French francs, three years in prison were requested, of which a part conditionally plus a fine of two hundred thousand French francs. .

Heavy resistance of the lawyers against these demands, Jean-René Bernaudeau (1956-), one of the caught riders, said the following:

"I'm not here for fun, but to make money. Currently, the tour criteria represent 50% of my annual income, and the law also obliges me to pay double my starting premium in case I should give up. I myself ride eighteen criteria in twenty days. "

Former Irish rider Paul Kimmage (1962-) became a journalist with the English newspaper 'The Sunday Times'. In 1990 he published the book 'Rough Race', in which he described his own doping experiences during his short career as a professional cyclist, but in which he also explained the use in the peloton. He confessed that he himself sought solace in amphetamines and caffeine. He also became famous and notorious for his many collisions with Lance Amstrong (1971), whom he publicly accused of doping. The battle between them reached an absolute high when Amstrong made his comeback in the Tour of California in 2009.

"What is it about those dopers you admire so much?" Kimmage asked him during a press conference that was broadcast worldwide.

He asked the question because Armstrong had refused him an interview. Armstrong responded that Kimmage had said:

"The cancer in this sport. For two years, this sport has been in remission. And now, the cancer's back,"
which he referred to Armstrong's return to cycling.

In 2011 appeared on '' the interview that Kimmage had taken from Floyd Landis (1975-), in which he admitted that he had been doped but that Amstrong had a lot to do with it. In 2012, the UCI summoned Kimmage to appear in court because in the 'Sunday Times' and 'l'Equipe' he had published that Pat McQuaid (1949-) and Hein Verbruggen (1941-2017) were involved in doping use. The complaint was withdrawn, on which Kimmage summoned the UCI.

Dutchman Johannes Draaijer (1963-1990), who finished 130th in the 1989 Tour de France, passed away at the age of 26 due to cardiac arrest. Although the autopsy showed no cause of death, his wife told the German magazine 'Der Spiegel' that her husband became ill after using EPO.

Belgian cyclist Nico Emonds (1961-) tested positive after his victory in the third stage of the Vuelta a España. He was removed as the winner and referred to the last place.

German sports physicians Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid of the Universität Freiburg played an important role in the doping system of the Telekom team in the 1990s.


Chinese judoka Ying Guo Yinggu (1970-) delivered a positive pee after his fight in the class up to 52kg.

Track and field

At the beginning of 1990 it was announced that unannounced doping tests would happen and to everyone's surprise that year there were seven track and field world records in men, but none in women.

In West Germany, 'Der Spiegel' revealed a national doping scandal. National coach Heinz-Jochen Spilker (1949-), who was also a lawyer, became notorious for his 'Hammer model', in which he stuffed young athletes with prohibited products at his club Hamm. It led to serious consequences.

Gaby Bussmann (1959-) (photo 1) had cardiac arrhythmias, Helga Arendt (1964-2013) (photo 2) had a damaged liver and chronic arthritis and died young, Andrea Hannemann (1964-) ruined her hamstring, Mechthild Kluth (1965- ) continued to become slower and ended her career because of a nervous breakdown,

Silke Knoll (1967-) moved to Dortmund and Gisela Kinzel (1961-) wanted nothing more to do with sport. The case came to court and in 1994 Spilker was sentenced to a fine of twelve thousand euros.

Later that year, 'Der Spiegel' picked up with another doping scandal. Heinz Hüsselmann (photo1), the trainer of TV Wattenscheid 1986, tried to persuade Ute Thimm (1958-) (photo 2) to start doping, which the athlete refused vividly. At that moment another charge was pending against him, hurdler Brigitte Gerstenmaier (1960-) accused him of having given her an anabolic steroid in 1986 without her knowledge. Thomas Gronich (1961-), the fiancée of Gerstenmaier who was a medical doctor, became increasingly suspicious about the tablets that Hüsselmann gave her and had them analyzed. It showed that Hüsselmann had given her the anabolic steroid Dianabol.

After the athletes supervised by Christian Gehrmann (1938-2001) made enormous progress internationally and changed physically, the German anti-doping specialist Brigitte Berendonk (1942-) asked sports physician Armin Klümper (1935-) whether he also looked after the athlete on a pharmaceutical level. He answered in the affirmative:

"I have nothing to add to the cases you describe, nor what you say about Eva Wilms, Beatrix Philip and their trainer Christian Gehrmann, and Mr Gehrmann is certainly the example of the trainer who wants success at all costs. For example, we are experimenting with the anti-baby pill."

Christian Gehrmann became a trainer in 1976 and led Eva Wilms (1952-) (photo) and Beatrix Philipps (1957-) to successes. He stated in public that he had no problem with pharmaceutical support. The sudden performance improvements of especially Eva Wilms were reminiscent of the use of anabolics. At the 1976 Olympics in Montréal, the West German was the only non-Eastern European for the final of the shot put, but even more surprising was that she later approached the world record pentathlon to five mere points. With her score she would have beaten the GDR girls in Montréal. As an answer to Berendonk, Gehrmann did not deny that he distributed medications:

"For example, Xobaline and Cobazymase, products with anabolics or anabolica-like ingredients which are available without subscrbtion in any pharmacy and which have no side effects, but we mainly use vitamin E, which is in the Granaton juice, which can be used without any problems. as weel by young people as by elderly, and pills with wheat germ extracts are also very good."

He also confessed that he had tried anabolics himself in 1975, but because they could be tracked for a long time after use, he warned his athletes. The heavy voice of Eva Wilms was innate, Gehrmann claimed, according to her mother she had screamed harder than other babies. He justified the strength of Wilms through a specific training, a sensible lifestyle of ten hours of sleep and a healthy diet with daily three to five liters of milk, three or five eggs, a lot of meat, half a kilo of fat curd, vitamin E, minerals and iron.

German shot-putters Claus-Dieter Föhrenbach (1955-) and Kalman Konya (1961-) (photo) were sentenced to nine months in prison due to perjury, they had declared under oath that they had never used anabolics.

When she landed in Munich in August 1990 after a trip from Lanzarote, German shot-putter Claudia Losch (1960-), the winner of the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, refused an unannounced doping test because she had to ask her trainer first. Only five days later she delivered a urine sample at the German championships.

Butch Reynolds (1964-), the American world record holder of the 400m, was suspended for two years by the IAAF. The anabolic steroid nandrolone was found in his urine, after a laboratory error he was subsequently acquitted. Promptly Reynolds demanded compensation, which was first awarded, but later dismissed in appeal.

On August 7, 1990, American shot-putter Randy Barnes (1966-) was caught using anabolic steroids. Due to the suspension of 27 months, he missed the 1992 Olympics. Four years later in Atlanta he was crowned Olympic champion, but in 1998 he tested positive for androstendion and that gave him a lifelong suspension.

Russian shot-putter Vyacheslav Lykho (1967-) finished third at the 1990 European Championships in Split, but lost that medal and was suspended for three months for the use of methamphetamine. In 1992 at the Barcelona Games he became third, barely two centimeters from the silver medal.

American world champion 110m hurdles Greg Foster (1958-) was suspended for six months in 1990 after a positive doping test on ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine.