Andreas Krieger

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Krieger competing at the 1986 European Championships

Andreas Krieger (born Heidi Krieger on 20 July 1966) is a German former shot putter, who competed on the women's East German athletics team at SC Dynamo Berlin. Like many prominent East German athletes at the time, he was systematically and unknowingly doped with anabolic steroids.[1] He later became a trans man but regretted not being able to make the decision without the doping abuses.

Athletics career[edit]

At the 1986 European Championships in Athletics, Krieger won the gold medal in the shot put event after putting the shot at 21.10 m (69 ft 3 in). Krieger retired in 1990.

Doping[edit]

Krieger was systematically doped with steroids from the age of 16 onward. According to Werner Franke and Brigitte Berendonk's 1991 book, Doping: From Research to Deceit, Krieger took almost 2,600 milligrams of steroids in 1986 alone—nearly 1,000 milligrams more than Ben Johnson took during the 1988 Summer Olympics.

As early as the age of 18, Krieger began developing male characteristics. Eventually, years of doping left him with many masculine traits. By 1997, Krieger underwent sex reassignment surgery and changed his name to Andreas.[2] Krieger had "felt out of place and longed in some vague way to be a boy" even before receiving hormonal treatments, and said in a 2004 New York Times interview that he was "glad that he became a man". But he was also upset that receiving hormones without his consent deprived him of the right to "find out for myself which sex I wanted to be."[3] Krieger's sex change operation dominated Germany's news headlines and focused widespread attention on the legacy of doping in the former East Germany, leading other former athletes to speak out in public for the first time.

Krieger gave evidence at the trial of Manfred Ewald, leader of the East German sports programme and president of the East German Olympic committee and Manfred Hoeppner, East German medical director in Berlin in 2000. He testified that the drugs he had been given had contributed to his transsexuality.[citation needed] Both Ewald and Hoepner were convicted of accessory to the intentional bodily harm of athletes, including minors.

Krieger was forced to retire in part due to experiencing severe pain from lifting massive amounts of weight while on steroids. Even today, he has severe pain in his hips and thighs, and can only withstand mild exertion.

The "Heidi Krieger Medal" (German: Heidi-Krieger-Medaille), named after Krieger, is now awarded annually to Germans who combat doping. Krieger's gold medal from 1986 forms part of the trophy.

Personal life[edit]

Krieger is married to former East German swimmer Ute Krause, who was also a victim of massive doping by East German sports officials.

Broadcasting[edit]

The PBS series Secrets of the Dead also featured Krieger in an episode covering the doping of East German athletes by the East German government covered-up by the Stasi.

In 2008 Ukrainian filmmakers released the documentary "Doping. Factory of Champions" based on Krieger's story.

Krieger’s story was mentioned in the first episode of the BBC documentary The Lost World of Communism.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harding, Luke (1 November 2005). "Forgotten victims of East German doping take their battle to court". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  2. ^ Longman, Jere (26 January 2004). "DRUG TESTING; East German Steroids' Toll: 'They Killed Heidi'". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Longman, Jere (26 January 2004). "DRUG TESTING; East German Steroids' Toll: 'They Killed Heidi'". The New York Times. 

* From gold medal to sex change (Namibian.com.na)[dead link]

See also[edit]