Doping in East Germany
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Systematic doping of athletes ended with the fall of communism in East Germany in 1989, before
Socialist East Germany’s use of sport is similar to use of the
Dictators and authoritarians understood sports as events that were more than just athletics to the public; sport was a “cultural institution in society and it plays an important role in many citizen’s lives”.
Not only was sport used as propaganda to achieve international prominence, it was also used on the home front, as “the political use of sport has ranged from attempting to reduce crime levels, stimulate ‘social capital’ and promote cohesion among disadvantaged groups. Benefits claimed for sport range from fighting obesity – and hence reducing the burden on the National Health Service”.
Following the end of the
Aspects around sports funding, coupled with the egos of nations that were in ideological conflict with one another, meant, that sporting competitions with their participation would offer a chance to demonstrate which country was superior.
The German Democratic Republic (GDR), colloquially known as East Germany, was ideologically a
In GDR, the origin for sports culture was found following World War II, when people were poor, malnourished, and unhealthy; state ideology also regarded its people as having been 'in need of guidance.' With most fitness centers destroyed in the air bombing campaigns, and most equipment taken by the Soviets during their invasion of Germany, the GDR government decided to create the DSA (Deutscher Sportausschuss), a 'German Committee for Sports'.
The left-wing ideology of East Germany then progressed: that every citizen was equal and was expected to give back to the state. Accordingly, sportspeople's achievements were attributed to the state. But career opportunities depended on political loyalty.
The GDR differed from the states of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany only due to advances in science, and in the incredible use of science and medicine to aid the state's push for dominance. The GDR's desire to ostensibly promote Soviet ideologies, mixed with advancements in medicine, inevitably led the GDR to use their athletes as a propaganda tool.