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Doping of East German athletes ‘tore lives apart’

When the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989 a systematic, coercive administration of performance-enhancing drugs to thousands of young athletes in East Germany was exposed.

It was meant to make them into world beaters and paid no regard to any damage to their health. Many athletes have said they were not told what they were taking.

A compensation fund was set up by the unified German government and a Berlin court case ended with suspended sentences for the head of the East German Sports Ministry, Manfred Ewald, and the chief doctor, Manfred Hoeppner.

Former East German sprinter Ines Geipel told Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur how her youth was shattered by a state sponsored programme of steroids and male hormones which destroyed her health and made her medals worthless.

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