Just too much to shred

A tale of the German Democratic Republic (aka the GDR aka East Germany) and doping:

40 years of the official GDR were done, the Berlin Wall was about to be dismantled to the sound of the scuttling feet of Stasi (secret police) operatives dashing for the archive and the shredder.

Thankfully, there was just too much to shred, too much to hide, too many notes to wipe from the slate of history. They included scribblings of the precise dosages of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs – some of them clinically trialled on human guinea pigs – that fuelled the GDR sports medals and records factory.

The Stasi kept files on about 5.6 million people. The archive of what survived runs to 111 km (69 miles) of files in total, about half of that kept at the Stasi Records Agency’s headquarters in Berlin, the rest at its 12 regional offices. It includes written documentation, photos, slides, film and sound recordings and stretches to samples of the sweat and body odour collected from the subjects of interrogation.

The archive includes vast tomes of information on State Research Plan 14:25, the systematic doping program that had its roots in the 1960s and was bolstered by the establishment of the ‘uM’ – unterstützende Mittel’ or supportive means – working group in 1974 in response to the 1972 advance of techniques to detect doping and their adoption by the International Olympic Committee at the dawn of realisation that cheating would be cancer to the Games.

The dawn? Of realization? The IOC didn’t think all along that cheating would be doubleplus ungood to the Games?

Men were doped too but the virilisation effect of Oral Turinabol and other steroid compounds that effectively turned girls and women into boys in sporting-performance terms (and, with further intervention, literally in some cases) meant that it was in women’s sport that we saw the most dramatic dominance of swimming ever witnessed in the history of the sport.

That history resonates today in various forms, including the addition of transgender male-to-female athletes excelling in women’s sport because of the physical advantages accrued from growing up as boys.

In other words, cheating. Cheating cheating cheating.

On 26 August 1993, after the former GDR had disbanded itself to accede to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990, records were opened and State Plan 14:25 confirmed: the Stasi, the GDR state secret police, supervised systematic doping of East German athletes from 1971 until reunification in 1990. Doping existed in other countries but the GDR was officially unique in so far as having a state plan designed to win in international sport as a way of saying ‘look how great our democratic republic and socialist/communist state is’.

The body and bulk of what was discovered is now held in places public and private in several countries, safe from the long arm of any single authority that may ver wish to suppress the truth. Some of that evidence was used in legal cases against coaches, doctors and others in the German doping trials of the late 1990s and subsequent compensation claims by athletes who suffered a spectrum of woes, from personal health, physical and psychological problems to the horrors of inheritance in the form of children born with club feet and a variety of other disabilities.

Yet now there’s a supposedly “progressive” movement that demands doping on demand for people who decide their “gender identity” has been mislabeled.

Oral Turinabol was just part of the poisonous cocktail of substances administered not only to medal-winning ‘ambassadors in tracksuits’ but to many who were never destined to make it beyond the Berlin Wall. Like the bulk of good but not world-class swimmers in the world, they were club swimmers – but with a dark difference; they served as human guinea pigs to test the effectiveness of substances that had never been clinically trailed in labs before b[e]ing administered to the athletes.

Now it’s trans people, especially children and adolescents, who are the guinea pigs.

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