Secrets of the Dead - Season 8, Episode 1 - Rotten Tomatoes

Doping for Gold


Episode Info

This episode of PBS's popular "Secrets of the Dead" documentary series revisits a scandalous chain of events that transpired in the 1970s - when East German female athletes soared ahead of their competitors at the Olympics and other events, justly raising suspicions of widespread steroid use. The suspicions were rooted in a cold and hard reality, though one far more sweeping and organized than many thought possible: in an attempt to gain superiority and an edge on its international competitors in sporting events, the East German government had set up and implemented a program of systematically "doping" its female athletes with performance-enhancing drugs. Years later, an estimated 10% or more of these victims contracted cancer in middle age. Secrets of the Dead: Doping for Gold explores the contours of this scandal and discusses its implications for the late Cold War and for today's athletic participants.


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