East german olympic athletes

The German Democratic Republic ceased to exist in 1990, joining the Federal Republic of Germany in the process of German reunification . Accordingly, the "NOC of the GDR" joined the "NOC of Germany" on 17 November 1990. German athletes competed at the Olympic Games as a single team again from 1992 onwards. Athletes from the Eastern part of Germany contributed disproportionately to the medals won by Germany, particularly in the first decade after reunification. This is thought to indicate that doping was not the only reason East Germany was so successful (and more successful than West Germany in particular) in the Olympics, with professional training conditions also being significant. The practice of doping was implemented by a separate state, a former rival who was far less successful. The medal tally of reunited Germany after 1990 was more comparable to that of East Germany before 1990 than of West Germany before 1990. For example, of the twenty nine medals Germany won in the 2006 Winter Olympics East German born (containing one-fifth of the population of Germany) athletes won fourteen (six gold). West German athletes won only nine medals (three gold), with six medals won in mixed teams. In recent years, some centres of German top-class sport have relocated to the West, for example winter sports to Bavaria. However, the East is still performing better than the West. Trainers from East Germany (. Uwe Müßiggang) were important in producing sporting success for United Germany. Also, many top-class German athletes who today live in the western part of Germany started their professional sport careers in the East, and can be seen as part of the large-scale exodus of young people from the East to the West since reunification.

By the 1980s, steroid use was growing throughout the sports world, and scientists were fighting a constant battle to catch up with ever-more-sophisticated doping techniques. At the Pan American games in 1983, organizers asked West German scientists to set up a lab to test for illegal drug use. It was the first time a large number of positive tests became public. Steroids were becoming pervasive, and all athletes were affected. But while the opportunity to use performance-enhancing drugs was present, there were differences between the East German methods and everybody else’s. Doping in the GDR was different from the doping in the West of the world but it was also different from the doping in other parts of the East. It was German, it was orderly, it was bureaucratic, it was written up.

East german olympic athletes

east german olympic athletes

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