Shirley fatigue. It was believed that male hormones

Shirley Babashoff is a 60-year-old ex-Olympic swimmer. She is involved in a doping scandal from the 1976 Montreal Olympics. In January 2007, it was reported that 167 former East German athletes will be financially compensated for the systematic doping of DDR athletes from 1973 through 1989. It was reported that more than 10,000 athletes were party to the abuse, most did not know and without parent permission were being doped. Some even suffered detrimental side effects. These side effects include psychological problems, cancer, and some of their children experienced birth defects. At the 1976 Olympic games, Shirley was projected to win, but ended up with 4 silvers and 1 gold medal. She was tainted as being a poor loser when she made comments implying that the East German women were on anabolic steroids. She and her teammates got a lot of backlash for speaking out against the East German athletes. The systematic state-orchestrated drug program claimed tittles in 10 out of 11 individual races. There was actually a warning from a Paris newspaper in 1973 that East German’s were using a vaccine against fatigue. It was believed that male hormones were given to the girls, which increased their vigor and helped them develop a superiority feeling towards other females from opposing countries. These accusations could not be met by simple denials, rather through opening their training camps for investigation and it wasn’t until after 31 years that their doping was proven correct. Quote from Shirley: “We would like to get what we earned. We were going for the medals, NOT the cash. We were amateurs. We worked so hard. We earned it and it was stolen right in front of everyone’s face and no 2one did anything about it. It was like watching a bank robbery where they just let the crooks go and then say, ‘It’s okay'” The record books were not changed, but if they were to be corrected Shirley would have walked away with 4 gold medals. The specific motivation for the PED usage during the Olympics was to show that either communism or democracy was the superior entity. The Cold War was the greatest accelerator of doping in sports, said by a reporter. East German women were also the prime candidates for doping, since American women didn’t have many opportunities to compete. East German’s weren’t the only PED abusers, Americans also doped. The difference is that American government didn’t force their athletes to dope, rather gave them a choice. Again, it was encouraged by the US to show that democracy was better than communism. Her life would have been drastically different. If she were to come home with all the medals she deserved she would have received some endorsements. She would have been able to buy more property and simply improve her way of life through money. She is now a letter carrier and has raised a now-30-year-old son as a single mother. She still believes that she was robbed by a Cold War-era doping regime powered by East German’s to beat American athletes. It was very obvious to Shirley that something had changed with the East German’s female swimming team. In the 1972 Munich games, the East German team had won 4 silvers and 1 bronze medal. Surprisingly, the following year at the 1973 world championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, the East German team won 10 gold, 5 silvers, 3 bronze medals and broke 7 world records. She remembers the female athletes winning by five body lengths in races were second place loses by seconds.


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