Slupianek was disqualified after she tested positive for anabolic steroids at the 1977 European Cup meeting in Helsinki, where she dominated her event with a superlative 21.20.
The International Amateur Athletics Federation suspended Slupianek for 12 months, a penalty that ended two days before the 1978 European championships in Prague. In the reverse of what the IAAF hoped, sending her home to East Germany meant she was free to train unchecked with anabolic steroids, if she wanted to, and then compete for another gold medal. Which indeed she won. She went on to win the European Indoor title in 1979.