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Children suffer from systematic doping

October 30th, 2007 by Christian H. Pedersen · 1 Comment

Doping is not only a matter of the doped athletes own health. 69 children of doped athletes from the former East Germany are suffering side effects, because the DDR-regime exposed their parents to systematic doping.

Dr. Giselher Spitzer from the University of Berlin presented a two years research project, conducted at the Institute of Sport Science at Humboldt University. The research documents 60 life courses of former athletes, who were exposed to doping under the DDR-regime. Actually, the final book is based on only 52 interviews, because one athlete died during the research and seven athletes had severe mental problems and could not stand the confrontation with their past.

The research shows horryfying results. One quarter of the athletes have had cancer, 10 percent epilepsy, 15 metabolic diseases and 35 sudden inflammations of the body. That number of cases is considerable higher than the numbers among the rest of the population. Besides that Dr. Giselher Spitzer underlined that the former athletes experienced severe disturbances of the psyche and behaviour such as thoughts or attempts of suicide. 15 of 52 had tried to hurt their own body, and 32 had phychic illness or had been attending therapy.

The drugs seem to have effects on the offspring of the former DDR-athletes aswell. More than every fourth child has allergies, 23 percent has asthmatic problems and one out ten has crippled legs, arms or feet. And that just some of the effects. Furthermore the risk of premature death of the children of the doped athletes is beyond 32 times higher than in the normal population.

14 of the athletes competed at the olympics and almost all competed at national championships. They were doped at ages between 10 and 17, and none of them were ever told that they received doping. It was “vitamins and minerals”, “Help at training and recreation” and “Legal pharmacy for therapy of ilness” they were told.

Dr. Giselher Spitzer hopes that the research can be used to help the athletes and to avoid history repeating itselves.

The research is documented in the book “Wunden und Verwundungen: Opfer des DDR-Dopingsystems. Eine Dokumentation”. Read more at

Tags: Theme: Anti-doping

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Rosemarie Scarpignato // Sep 17, 2014 at 1:38 am

    I am a researcher and writing a book and one of the chapters in on Cancer and birth defectsvin babies and young children. I would like to ask Dr Giselher Spitzer if his research reveals the taking of anabolic steroids whilst pregnant can if it can result in homosexuality that is female physical abnormalities in a male unborn child and male sexual abnormalities in a female unborn child?
    Thank you

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