Doping and sports - 1993


Doping in the GDR

On August 26, 1993 recordings were released in which it was proven that the Stasi systematically administrated doping to East German athletes from 1971 until the German reunification in 1990.

"Doping also existed in other countries," said French sports physician and doping expert Jean-Pierre de Mondenard (1943-), "both in communist and capitalist, but with the difference that it was a state policy in East Germany."

Sportvereinigung Dynamo Berlin was the doping center of former East Germany.

From 1974, Manfred Ewald (1926-2002), head of the East German sports federation, obligated the general administration of doping. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, East Germany collected nine gold medals. Four years later in Munich it was already twenty and in 1976 in Montreal that number doubled to forty. It is claimed that Ewald said to his coaches:

"They still are young and do not need to know everything."

Triple world champion and multiple European swimming champion Birgit Heukrodt-Meineke (1965-) was told in 1993 she had a liver tumor.

In Berlin hammer thrower Detlef Gerstenberg (1957-1993), who finished fifth at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow and who won the 1975 European junior championship, died. He was affiliated with the infamous SC Dynamo Berlin. Initially, his liver cirrhosis and pancreatic damage were attributed to excessive alcohol consumption, but many insiders linked his dead also to the anabolics GDR athletes massively received. He had to win a medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and everything was permitted to achieve that goal. He was given Oral-Turinabol for 34 weeks with a dose 50% higher compared to what he received before. It helped because with 80m50 he threw a new GDR record, four meters further than before. Because of the GDR boycott, however, his Olympic dream went down the drain.

American football

Research in American Football showed that the life expectancy of football players after a sporting career of 3.2 years is almost seventeen years lower compared to the lifespan of the average American. Scientists linked this lower life expectancy to the massive doping use.


French rider Hervé Buttigli (1966-) tested positive for nandrolone during Eybens' six-day event, and therefore was suspended for six months, three of which were conditional.

German Professor Manfred Donike (1933-1995) was one of the most famous doping analysts. Less known is that he was active as a cyclist from 1952 to 1962. During an interview in 1993, he admitted that during that period he had used amphetamines himself.

"I did take them, but I could not sleep at night, so I quit because sleep was sacred to me."

Danish professional cyclist Lennie Kristensen (1968-) was suspended by his national cycling federation after a positive test, strangely enough the UCI did not punish him.

Italian rider Federico Ghiotto (1963-) tested positive for caffeine in the Tour of Valencia. He got two years suspension, because it was already the second time after the positive control for nandrolone in the Tour of Sicily.

Edward Kuyper (1967-2010) was disqualified because of a positive test after the Dutch championship. He died at the age of 43 after having been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor ten years before.


Brazilian Antonio José Gomes De Matos (1965-), who played for the Spanish Real Valladolid, was the first well-known footballer to be caught using nandrolone.


Austrian judoka Thomas Etlinger (1972-) was caught for the use of the forbidden asthma product Spiropent, which yield in a two year suspernsion for the European vice champion.


West German swimmer Christel Justen (1957-2005) confessed in 1993 that she as a teenager, without knowing it, had been given Dianabol by her former trainer Claus Vandenhirtz (1937-). To everyone's surprise, she beat East German top favorite 100m breaststroke Renate Vogel (1955-) at the 1974 European Championships in Vienna and with a time of 1.12.55 she improved the new world record. She had already made the spot lights when she had beaten American Olympic champion Cathy Carr (1954-) and Russian European record holder Galina Stepanova (1948-2015) at a meeting in Hamburg. Her father had the tablets analyzed and Vandenhirtz promised that this would happen never again. In 1993, however, he came in the picture again in a doping affair with anabolics. Justen died at the age of 47 from cardiac arrhythmias.

Track and Field

A remarkable initiative in the track and field world, in 1993 the German decathloners asked as first group of sporters 'a doping control and a drug passport', which should be binding for all athletes. In case of violation, a contractual fine of 25,000 euros had to be paid, as well as a refund of all previously paid benefits. In addition, the contracting parties agreed to make the results of their audits public. This first initiative was therefore not based on associations or inspection bodies, but was demanded of them. This meant that the athletes themselves took responsibility for the conditions under which they performed as well as possible.



The European 60m champion indoor in 1989, Austrian Andreas Berger (1961-), confessed in a TV interview that he, together with his relay buddies Franz Ratzenberger (1965-), Thomas Renner (1967-) and Gernot Kellermayr (1966-) had used anabolics.

American 100m runner Diane Williams (1960-) and German shot-putter Petra Leidinger (1966-) confessed in the German newspaper 'Berliner Zeitung' that due to anabolic use they suffered from the side effect hirsutism, excessive hair growth on the body.

In an out-of-competition check at training camp, Austrian pentathlete Gernot Kellermayr (1966-) was caught using the anabolic steroid Stenolon and was suspended for four years.

After the GP of Cologne testosterone and HCG were found in the urine of Dutch shot-putter and discus thrower Erik de Bruin (1963-). The Dutch disciplinary committee acquited him, but the International Athletics Federation suspended him for four years. De Bruin initially wanted to appeal, but eventually accepted the decision. He became athletic commentator at the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation NOS, but when his Irish wife Michelle Smith (1969-), whom he coached as a trainer, got caught at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, the contract was canceled.

Ludmila Engquist-Leonowa (1964-), a Swede of Russian origin, was suspended for four years. When it came known that her ex-husband Nikolai Naroschilenko, from whom she was divorced the year before, had administered her steroids without her knowledge, the sentence was canceled in 1995.

American shot-putter Michael Stulce (1969-) received a life-long suspension for his use of anabolic steroids, but he was allowed to resume the competition after two years. He qualified for the Barcelona Olympics which he won. A year later at the World Championships in Stuttgart he won the bronze medal with 20m94. The doping test afterwards was positive again. Bye bye medal and now a definitive lifelong suspension.

Ukrainian Inessa Kravets (1966-), world record holder tripple jump and silver medalist long jump at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, was suspended for three months for using ephedrine. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta she won the triple jump, but in July 2000 she was caught on steroids and she was suspended for another two years.


In a test on Polish weightlifter Marek Seweryn (1957-) anabolic steroids were found during the Austrian weightlifting champion, which meant that his club Post SV had to surrender the title.

Icelandic weightlifter Jón Páll Sigmarsson (1960-1993), who was also a bodybuilder and powerlifter, died of an aortic rupture that probably was caused by anabolic use. He was also named 'Strongest Man of the World' four times and 'Strongest Man of Europe' twice.

Australian weightlifter Ronald Laycock (1966-) was suspended for steroid use. In 2017 he was sentenced to prison for seven years because he sold for 44,000 dollars of cocaine and for 9,000 dollars of methylamphetamine and cannabis to undercover agents.