Some athletes were unaware of the fund, while others were embarrassed, afraid of losing their jobs, unable to gain full access to their medical files or unsuccessful in convincing doctors that their ailments were directly related to steroid use, Boese said.
”There was a lot of denial and still is,” Boese said of the athletes. ”Many have never, or only now, understood that they were abused by people they trusted.”
Some of the most outspoken have faced harassment and threats. Ines Geipel, a retired East German sprinter who chronicled the doping system in a book, ”Lost Games,” said she had been confronted at readings in 2001 by former East German officials. As recently as Jan. 18, she said, an anonymous phone caller told her, ”You know there is not much time left for you.”
Neither she nor Krieger has been deterred.
”People should know what happened, what side effects can be generated,” Krieger said, speaking through an interpreter inside a concrete-block apartment building left from the Communist days in Magdeburg, a 90-minute train ride west of Berlin.
As Andreas, he has a goatee, wide shoulders and a narrow waist, and is handsome in a Three Musketeers kind of way. Told this, his wife, Ute Krause, said, ”D’Artagnan,” and he gestured as if sword fighting, saying ”en garde” to an imaginary foe.
When discussing the effects of doping, Andreas became serious and animated, sometimes emotional, smoking cigarettes and nervously rubbing his palms. When he was Heidi Krieger, scratching of the hands became a compulsive act and sometimes drew blood.
The New York Times – Full Article