By the 1980s, steroid use was growing throughout the sports world, and scientists were fighting a constant battle to catch up with ever-more-sophisticated doping techniques. At the Pan American games in 1983, organizers asked West German scientists to set up a lab to test for illegal drug use. It was the first time a large number of positive tests became public. Steroids were becoming pervasive, and all athletes were affected. But while the opportunity to use performance-enhancing drugs was present, there were differences between the East German methods and everybody else’s. Doping in the GDR was different from the doping in the West of the world but it was also different from the doping in other parts of the East. It was German, it was orderly, it was bureaucratic, it was written up.
The physicians themselves were punished rather symbolically. The best example is East Germany's top sports doctor Manfred Ewald. Found guilty of "intentional bodily harm against athletes, including minors", he was given only probation. Mr. Ewald never showed any regret. A former active member of the Nazi party, the minister for sport of communist East Germany for 27 years and president of the country's Olympic committee, Manfred Ewald died at 76 - older than any of his victims will probably ever be. "We (the victims) have no interest in cursing our former coaches their whole life long, but what makes it so difficult is that we never received an apology or heard regret for what they have done to us," says Birgit Boese. "They walk around as if nothing had happened and we don't understand how this can be possible."