Katja Hofmann, 44, Discus Thrower, Dynamo Berlin
Danyel Reiche. Western countries imitated many elements of the GDR sports system such as elite sports schools.
While there was a state monopoly over sport in the GDR, there was in West Germany the belief in sports autonomy the independence and self-responsibility of sports clubs and associations. This is the reason why even in reunified Germany, politicians rejected an anti-doping law for years, before the German parliament finally agreed in November on such a legislation this happened after the book was written.
The West German public was sensitive to issues of doping because of cases such as the death of heptathlete Birgit Dressel in , whose autopsy revealed more than drugs in her body.
German Sports, Doping, and Politics
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But in reality, it kept East German citizens in while their government sought ways to demonstrate communist superiority to the rest of the world. Rare glimpses of life behind the Wall suggested a sporting revolution. Talented children were handpicked for special sports schools. Coaches and doctors were employed full-time to train them.
Sports festivals became highly anticipated national events. Successful athletes enjoyed freedoms not available to their fellow citizens.
Doping: Poisoned by East Germany | ZEIT ONLINE
This was the communist equivalent of fame and fortune — they became the public face of the German Democratic Republic. In the Montreal Summer Olympics, the world took notice as East Germany, a relatively small country with few previous Olympic wins, triumphed with an impressive 40 gold medals. The secret to their success would not come to light for decades: a state-sponsored doping program.