Tim's Reviews > Faust's Gold: Inside The East German Doping Machine

Faust's Gold by Steven Ungerleider
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Feb 12, 12

Read from February 06 to 11, 2012

What a sad story. Over 30 years, the East German government secretly drugged over 100,000 athletes, often against their will. This policy was most prominent in female swimming starting with girls as young as 12. Receiving high doses of testosterone destroyed their lives forcing liver operations, sex changes, and deformed children.
While the story is so poignant this book rushes through, and does not spend enough time setting context and exploring the reasons behind this behavior. I had several questions that I wanted a deeper exploration of:
- Why did the communists in East Germany develop a doping machine but other Warsaw Pact members did not?
- How was this policy effected by the Nazi government history of using drugs on soldiers.
- What has been the longer term impact - are German sporting drug cheats now more or less prevalent than in other Western European countries?
- How much of this expertise was exported to other countries (e.g. China) as the Berlin Wall fell.
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