44 Years On: 1st World Titles As GDR Doping Opens A Dark Chapter In Swim History

GDR, state plan 14:25: victims of abuse included young athletes used as guinea pigs

This week marks the 44th anniversary of the dawn of a new and dark chapter in swimming history. The inaugural FINA World Championships were held in Belgrade with 696 athletes from 47 nations taking part. In the course of the meet, 18 world records fell, seven of them to the first wave of GDR women from a medals machine fuelled by State Plan 14:25 and Oral Turinabol. This day back in 1973 is particularly poignant: if it marked two world records from Kornelia Ender over 100m freestyle, then it also delivered the last of 18 world records established by the most successful backstroke swimmer in history, Roland Matthes, whose coach was said to be “the one;y one” allowed to refuse State Plan 14:25. Matthes would later marry Ender after the 1976 Olympics. The couple divorced in 1982, after the birth of their daughter Francesca, the offspring of parents who between them boasted a treasury of eight gold, six silver and two bronze Olympic medals, as well as 11 gold, three silver and 1 bronze medal at World Championships, and 49 world records

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This week marks the 44th anniversary of the dawn of a new and dark chapter in swimming history. The inaugural FINA World Championships were held in Belgrade with 696 athletes from 47 nations taking part. In the course of the meet, 18 world records fell, seven of them to the first wave of GDR women from a medals machine fuelled by State Plan 14:25 and Oral Turinabol. This day back in 1973 is particularly poignant: if it marked two world records from Kornelia Ender over 100m freestyle, then it also delivered the last of 18 world records established by the most successful backstroke swimmer in history, Roland Matthes, whose coach was said to be “the one;y one” allowed to refuse State Plan 14:25. Matthes would later marry Ender after the 1976 Olympics. The couple divorced in 1982, after the birth of their daughter Francesca, the offspring of parents who between them boasted a treasury of eight gold, six silver and two bronze Olympic medals, as well as 11 gold, three silver and 1 bronze medal at World Championships, and 49 world records

Comments

Richard Ortiz

As much as I look forward to your articles, Craig, the ones I impatiently wait for are those written about the former DDR and it’s history in the swimming world. This one on the anniversary of Belgrade is spectacular. I wish that one day you write a book about the DDR from 1973 to 1976. Although their reign of terror lasted to 1989, 1973 through 1976 was horrible as the rest of the world was still naive and not ready to fully believe the dirty truth behind the Wall. Bravo! Standing ovation!

Craig Lord

Thanks for the kind comment, Richard. Your wish is on the wind … 🙂

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