The East German Doping Machine

From the late 1960’s through the 1980’s, athletes from the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) swam their way to glory, winning Olympic gold medals, setting world records and - so it seemed at the time to some -demonstrating the superiority of communism over its capitalist competitors.  The achievements of the East German aquatic stars were duly acknowledged by the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) between the years of 1981 through 1993, when fifteen East Germans were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

While many in the West suspected the East Germans had been augmenting their abilities with some kind of pharmacological help, it wasn’t until after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of communism in Germany in the early 1990’s, that the secrets behind the extraordinary East German sporting success came to light.

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