East Germany’s forgotten Olympic doping victims tell of illness, infertility and changing sexIt is an unseasonably mild evening in Magdeburg, where winters are bleak and some of the Stalinist architecture is bleaker still. In an apartment here in the heart of the city, bisected by the River Elbe, Andreas Krieger has just returned home from another onerous east german athlete became man as a parcel delivery east german athlete became man. It seems that children wish for bigger presents from Clenbuterol canada reviews Christmas every year, and that I have to carry them. His wife, Ute Krause, is quieter, more circumspect, her powerful physique attesting to her background as a swimmer. In one corner of the living room their dog, Sandy, an Ibizan Hound cross who was rescued off the streets of Spain, plays contentedly in a basket.
Andreas Krieger - Wikipedia
It is an unseasonably mild evening in Magdeburg, where winters are bleak and some of the Stalinist architecture is bleaker still. In an apartment here in the heart of the city, bisected by the River Elbe, Andreas Krieger has just returned home from another onerous shift as a parcel delivery man. It seems that children wish for bigger presents from Father Christmas every year, and that I have to carry them.
His wife, Ute Krause, is quieter, more circumspect, her powerful physique attesting to her background as a swimmer. In one corner of the living room their dog, Sandy, an Ibizan Hound cross who was rescued off the streets of Spain, plays contentedly in a basket.
Andreas Krieger and his wife, Ute, at home in Magdeburg. One detects no sense that until , the kindly, boisterous Andreas was not Andreas at all but Heidi Krieger, the former East German shot putter who won a gold medal at the European Championships in Stuttgart and who from the age of 16 had been systematically, unknowingly pumped full of anabolic steroids.
The type where there are the normal ups-and-downs, with tears and the rest? Or do you want to see a freak show, where it is all a pure fake? In this scandal, it is mostly forgotten that the person who pays for everything is the athlete. Ultimately, the athlete is the one standing there on his own. It was not merely cruel voices on the sports field who questioned the deep voice and oddly masculine appearance of the teenage girl who could throw a nine-pound lump of metal out beyond 21 metres.
As the anguish deepened, she woke one morning and filled the bathtub with water, intending to slash her wrists. Somehow, it was a beautiful image. We were told they were vitamins, assured that it was for our own good' Ute Krause.
But I had a dog. They had a grip on youngsters. I was just 11, turning up at the sports club after school, and this is where it started. The coach would give us pills at the pool after training. We were told they were vitamins, and that we needed them because we trained so hard.
We were to take them without asking questions, assured that it was for our own good. There are echoes of this coercion, Ute argues, in the institutionalised doping uncovered in Russia. The others have an unseen half-knowledge.
If you compete in sport at the very top, you soon pass the boundary of what your body and mind can cope with. These operations are almost all organised centrally. You need a dealer and somebody who helps you not to get caught. Only after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when Ute began to train as a nurse, was the ghastly East German secret exposed.
In the German Democratic Republic, there was just this universal turquoise pill. Finally, I was able to find out what it was: The steroid Oral-Turinabol had been administered to Heidi in huge doses , often in conjunction with birth-control medication. In , the year of her European gold, she received 2, micrograms — 1, more than Ben Johnson took in , when he was stripped of the Olympic title in Seoul after testing positive for stanozolol.
It was manufactured by Jenapharm, a state-run company since swallowed up by German pharmaceutical giant Schering AG. When Andreas, three years out from the sex change that ended his days as Heidi, discovered the full extent to which he had been doped, he felt consumed by emotion.
And yet I can accept her better today than I could then' Andreas Krieger. It was hardly adequate recompense for the poisoning of a body, and ultimately the destruction of an entire identity, as he made clear in a tense encounter with the presiding judge. Fifteen years on, he harbours few regrets about that dramatic statement. I needed to get a reaction. The serenity of the couple? And yet I can accept her better today than I could then. Their home here in Magdeburg affords no visible window into perhaps the darkest chapter in athletics history and is filled instead with pictures of their happiness together.
Ute vividly remembers the day she first set eyes on him, when they met in for a reacquaintance with the doctors they were about to sue. I ended up sitting at his side, and we went to grab some food together. It was the first impulse. After one day of the trial, I was already in love with him.
Andreas finds it acutely painful to sleep on his side, because of how, as Heidi, the body was pushed far beyond its natural limitations. In my job lifting parcels, I might move tonnes in 14 days, whereas when I was an active athlete I would move a whole house.
The psychological trauma would later manifest itself in depression, too. What else are you married for? Andreas and Ute met when they both sued the doctors who had doped them. Even though Ute has destroyed almost every photograph of her swimming career, she keeps a copy of a world rankings table mounted on the bathroom wall.
With bulimia, you often happen to have your head above the toilet. As Andreas puts it: Geklagtes Leid ist halbes Leid. Suffering shared is suffering halved. Consoled by the thought, as Sandy snuggles up beside them on this quiet Magdeburg night, they look at each other and smile. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation.
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