Doping and sports - 1992


Doping became a thing in rugby, professional wrestling, the Paralympics and even in pigeon sport.

American Football

Tony Mandarich (1966-) played as an offensive lineman in the American National Football League. He was caught using steroids but denied it devotedly. After the Green Bay Packers fired him, his family sent him to a detox clinic to kick off his drug and alcohol addiction. Only in 2008 did he confess.


After winning the Dutch Grand Prix, his eighth pro victory in three years, Mohamed Benaziza (1959-1992) collapsed backstage. Seven hours later, the Algerian bodybuilder died from the consequences of a heart attack. The diuretics he swallowed before the race had driven much needed magnesium and potassium out of his body. His death was the most tragic diuretic-related accident, for the same reasons and because of extremely high dehydration, other bodybuilders also ended up in the hospital.


At the beginning of the 1990s, about twenty professional cyclists died a mysterious death. All autopsies showed increased blood viscosity and calcification of the veins, clear side effects of EPO use.

After two days of competition, the entire PDM team left the Tour de France in 1992. All riders faced the same symptoms: fever, fatigue, digestive problems, accelerated heartbeat, joint and muscle pains. Blood tests showed an increased number of white blood cells, which could indicate a viral infection. In the following days the team leaders came with all possible explanations, a defective air conditioning in the hotel, then a food poisoning in another hotel. Then it was not a viral, but a bacterial infection and a little later the drinking cans would have been infected with salmonella. But that didn't fly either since nonoe of the riders suffered from diarrhea. Then they put the blame on badly sterilized syringes with lipids.

At the end of the month, team leader Erik Breukink (1964-) finally admidded that the riders had been forced to lie. The most likely explanation was an excessive EPO use, which can lead to a flu-like syndrome.

Danish rider Jesper Worre (1959-) tested positive for amineptine. He confessed the offense and therefore received a conditional sentence. Afterwards he became best known for his strong and uncompromising battle against doping in the cycling peloton.


In Uruguay, a football coach was suspended for life because he had his 12-year-old players drink soda filled with painkillers.

Thomas Möller (1957-) of the German Bundesligaclub Eintracht Braunschweig tested positive on the use of katovit and etilephrine, but oddly enough he was not suspended because his team had lost the game.


Canadian ice hockey player John Kordic (1965-1992) died of heart and lung failure anabolics after an overdose during a battle with the police. The cops were summoned by the hotel manager because Kordic was destroying his room. In his hotel room, 40 syringes and eight bottles of steroids were found, but he became also addicted to cocaine and consumed large amounts of alcocol. His addictions were known, the board of the Maple Leafs encouraged him in 1990 to follow a detox treatment, the board of the Capitals had suspended him previously twice and referred him to a detoxification clinic. His life was described in the book 'The John Kordic Story - The Fight of his Life' by Mark Zwolinski.

Speed skating

During a press conference, Chinese speed skater Qiaobo Ye (1964-) confessed that she was caught four years before on doping at the Winter Olympics in Calgary together with a team mate and that they both had to leave competition due to injuries. But she immediately reported that the doping was administered to her by a sports physician.

Track and field

Neal Brunning (1970-) was allowed to claim the dubious honor of being the first British shot-putter to be caught using steroids. He was suspended for four years. He started to use in 1991 and took the tablets every other week without the slightest guidance. His performance improved visibly, his personal record rose from 17m90 to 18m39 in a short time.

The European Championships in Split was the great breakthrough of Katrin Krabbe (1969-), she won the 100, 200 and 4 x 100m. A few months later at the World Championships in Tokyo, the German was the fastest again in the 100 and 200m and she beat American champion Gwen Torrence (1965-) and Jamaican champion Merlene Ottey (1960-).

In 1992 she was suspended for doping use, trainer Thomas Springstein (1958-) had given her and running companion Grit Breuer (1972-) clenbuterol, a remedy against asthma that was not officially banned at that time. Both athletes delivered a 'clean' urine sample, unfortunately for them from one and the same woman who also turned out to be pregnant. The German Federation suspended them for one year, the IAAF added another year. In contrast to Breuer, Krabbe appealed, but she was condemned again and she lost another 1.2 million German Mark in sponsor money and match bonuses. She dared to make a comeback, but when that failed it meant the end of her sports career.

Grit Breuer (1972-), during the World Championship of 1991 winner of the silver medal in the 400m, was accused again in 2004. This time for missing a doping check. Thomas Springstein (1958-) was not only her trainer but also her life partner.

Springstein had also given clenbuterol to 400 m runner Manuela Derr (1971-), she was suspended by the German Association for eight months, the IAAF increased that sentence to three years.

Just like Krabbe and Breuer, sprintster Silke Möller (1964) also delivered urine from the same pregnant woman. The IAAF nevertheless acquited her, but just before the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona she announced the end of her sport career and went to study history in Rostock.

Ukrainian Natalia Grigoryeva (1962-) represented Russia in the 100m hurdles Aa the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and in 1991 she won the bronze medal at the World Cup in Tokyo. One year later she was caught using steroids.

Russian 1,500 and 3,000m runner Natalya Artyomova (1963-), also ended up in troubled waters when, in 1992, traces of anabolic steroids were found in her urine.

American shot-putter Brent Noon (1971-) did not show up for a doping test in 1992 and was suspended for five weeks by the American federation. That suspension was revised because he claimed that they had sent the notice to his old address in California while he had moved to Georgia. During the Olympic trials he was unable to qualify for the Barcelona Olympics, supposedly because of mental anxiety and two years later he won the trial he had filed against the American Athletics Union. He received a one million dollar compensation. In 1996, however, a test showed the use of methandieone and he was therefore suspended for four years.

Norwegian shot-putter Jan Sagedal (1960-) delivered in 1992 a positive test on the forbidden product methandienone on which he was suspended for four years for all sports because it was already the second time.

Countryman and fellow shot-putter Lars Arvid Nilsen (1965-) received a lifelong suspension for all sports because he tested positive for anabolics for the second time. In 2004, his sentence was reduced and he was allowed to take part in all sports except for shot-put, but not at national or international competitions.