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Ullrich, Kloden, Zabel and the DDR

So, I guess it was covered before, but I had this question...

I do not think I have to tell you that East Germany had a very effective state sponsored doping program -which could be mentioned in the "Are PED safe thread"-. So effective that some of the records set in the 80's are plain and simply out of reach (only with the "suit frenzy" that broke 50 WRs or so have they been erased in women's natation...). But hey, they didn't test positive a lot.
The program was very large: young prospects were put on the medecine very early. It was also mandatory for athlets and coaches alike: the Stasi appointed informers among athlets to make sure the policy was inforced (and supposedly Heike Dreschler, track & field legend). Not that they knew exactly what they were given...

When the DDR collapsed, the program stopped obviously. Some of the coaches flew to China to break some more WRs via very fishy athletes. Others stayed in the new complete Germany and continued on their coaching duties (some only confessed recently on what was going on in the DDR, a fact that has caused quite an outcry from former East Germans athlets).

Ullrich, Klöden and Zabel are the most famous riders to have been born in the DDR. The question that pushed me to create this thread was: what do we know of their "careers" before the fall of the Wall? Could they have been victims of the DDR doping policy?

The little I know is: Zabel is born in 1970, Ullrich in 73, Klöden in 75. Klodi was still pretty young by the end of the DDR (14-15 years old more or less).

Ullrich, since he was 13, was riding for the SV Dynamo Berlin -an omnisport entity under the direction of the Stasi, like the CSKA Moscow is the official club of the army-. Trials at the end of nineties highlighted the central role of the club in the doping policy.

Zabel I do not know where he was riding: in accordance to soviet policies, athlets were prohibited from being pros.

So... does anyone know more?
 
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On a slightly different note I find it ironic that the German Press took the moral high ground and stopped televising the Tour in previous years because of the apparent doping taking place. Maybe they should have stopped televising the Olympics during the 70's and 80's as well.
 
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It was well known or at least highly suspected within the sport that all the communist countries were competing under state sponsored doping programs,particularly the Russians and East Germans. But very difficult to verify as contact with their riders was impossible. They were always kept away from the rest of us and there were always suspicious looking minders hanging around. I remember training on the circuit before the 86 Worlds in Colorado Springs and the Russian team came past us so we picked the pace up to sit behind them and one of their cars pulled in between us and backed us off. The group I was in contained at least 5 or 6 different nationalities all discussing training and racing. These kinds of actions just confirmed our suspicions.
 

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Remember when these riders came of age the system was in complete chaos. As advanced as the former DDR was in doping they were no where near as good as the organize programs put together by Ferrari, Conconi and the Telekom team

Udo Bolts tells the story of Jan showing up for his first training camp. This was before Jan got fat in the winter. He was getting dropped on all the climbs. Suddenly when he got on EPO he is German TT champ and 2nd the next year in the Tour.

EPO effected riders in dramatically different ways.
 
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beroepsrenner said:
It was well known or at least highly suspected within the sport that all the communist countries were competing under state sponsored doping programs,particularly the Russians and East Germans. But very difficult to verify as contact with their riders was impossible. They were always kept away from the rest of us and there were always suspicious looking minders hanging around. I remember training on the circuit before the 86 Worlds in Colorado Springs and the Russian team came past us so we picked the pace up to sit behind them and one of their cars pulled in between us and backed us off. The group I was in contained at least 5 or 6 different nationalities all discussing training and racing. These kinds of actions just confirmed our suspicions.

Cool anecdote, thanks.
 
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Eva Maria said:
Remember when these riders came of age the system was in complete chaos. As advanced as the former DDR was in doping they were no where near as good as the organize programs put together by Ferrari, Conconi and the Telekom team

Udo Bolts tells the story of Jan showing up for his first training camp. This was before Jan got fat in the winter. He was getting dropped on all the climbs. Suddenly when he got on EPO he is German TT champ and 2nd the next year in the Tour.

EPO effected riders in dramatically different ways.

A suspect story. Jan was a prodigy before he became a pro. He was amateur world champion on the same course as LA. That wasn't a pancake course by any stretch. So Jan getting dropped on all the climbs seems hyperbole.
 
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Franklin said:
A suspect story. Jan was a prodigy before he became a pro. He was amateur world champion on the same course as LA. That wasn't a pancake course by any stretch. So Jan getting dropped on all the climbs seems hyperbole.

2nd hand stories often become embellished but Udo's story would carry some credibility. He was part of the same system, as was his brother Hartmet.
 
Eva Maria said:
Remember when these riders came of age the system was in complete chaos. As advanced as the former DDR was in doping they were no where near as good as the organize programs put together by Ferrari, Conconi and the Telekom team

Maybe it is, but Ullrich was riding for a youth club and I would expect Zabel to ride for a somewhat competent club by his age as well. Ullrich at least won the DDR title back then so he was at least a competent rider before being subjected to "modern" cycling (and doping?). I would also assume that riding for the SV Dynamo (the Elite club in DDR) while not being born in Berlin was also a sign of its potential.

Information on their whereabouts before 89 is not that widely publicized (maybe in German but mine is very rusty and basic so it is difficult to do competent searches). As beroepsrenner noted, there was some amount of secrecy as well.

Jens Voight is another DDR born famous rider. The bio says he also joined a "national sport school" at age 14, without any more details.

The doping program was apparently started as soon as 10 years old in some cases according to the files, so it is a possibility.
For the record I am not trying to find a link at any means, but was curious at least at their careers before joining the "normal" pro circuit.
 
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ThisFrenchGuy said:
Maybe it is, but Ullrich was riding for a youth club and I would expect Zabel to ride for a somewhat competent club by his age as well. Ullrich at least won the DDR title back then so he was at least a competent rider before being subjected to "modern" cycling (and doping?). I would also assume that riding for the SV Dynamo (the Elite club in DDR) while not being born in Berlin was also a sign of its potential.

Information on their whereabouts before 89 is not that widely publicized (maybe in German but mine is very rusty and basic so it is difficult to do competent searches). As beroepsrenner noted, there was some amount of secrecy as well.

Jens Voight is another DDR born famous rider. The bio says he also joined a "national sport school" at age 14, without any more details.

The doping program was apparently started as soon as 10 years old in some cases according to the files, so it is a possibility.
For the record I am not trying to find a link at any means, but was curious at least at their careers before joining the "normal" pro circuit.

Although the doping itself was technically inferior to what goes on today the cloak of secrecy surrounding it was certainly not, even to the extent that the riders themselves would be unaware of what was "actually" being administered. They would most probably have been told that it was some kind of vitamin supplement. As if they would have any right to protest it anyway.
 
beroepsrenner said:
Although the doping itself was technically inferior to what goes on today the cloak of secrecy surrounding it was certainly not, even to the extent that the riders themselves would be unaware of what was "actually" being administered. They would most probably have been told that it was some kind of vitamin supplement. As if they would have any right to protest it anyway.

Indeed, though in retrospect I guess all athletes from DDR had their doubts when the system was exposed. Some of them might have known what was going on.

Despite taking place in the 80, the doping was incredibly effective in some sports: many of the DDR records in track & field are still out of reach of modern best athletes, the swimming ones fell to either Chineses coached by the same guys or in the actual situation (with "suits" totally breaking the limits of what's possible). The fact that it was long-term, constant doping maybe explains it. As far as I know, despite systematic doping, those athletes did not test positive at the time, at least officially.
However I don't know if it translated well to cycling, as the "miracle" products in the DDR were steroids of different kinds, including androgen.
 
Franklin said:
A suspect story. Jan was a prodigy before he became a pro. He was amateur world champion on the same course as LA. That wasn't a pancake course by any stretch. So Jan getting dropped on all the climbs seems hyperbole.

The point Eva was making is that as organised as the doping was, it was still pretty ineffective in comparison to EPO. One he got on the EPO, he was on a level playing field.
 
Digger said:
The point Eva was making is that as organised as the doping was, it was still pretty ineffective in comparison to EPO. One he got on the EPO, he was on a level playing field.

But was EPO commonly found at the times of the DDR? Maybe in 93-94 when Ullrich went on with his pro career, sure...
East Germany apparently achieved good results in cycling at the Olympics. 11th overall as a country with only 5 Olympics.
Their doping techniques were not that far back at that time. They also had significant advantages as the products were tailored for sport.
 
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ThisFrenchGuy said:
Indeed, though in retrospect I guess all athletes from DDR had their doubts when the system was exposed. Some of them might have known what was going on.

Despite taking place in the 80, the doping was incredibly effective in some sports: many of the DDR records in track & field are still out of reach of modern best athletes, the swimming ones fell to either Chineses coached by the same guys or in the actual situation (with "suits" totally breaking the limits of what's possible). The fact that it was long-term, constant doping maybe explains it. As far as I know, despite systematic doping, those athletes did not test positive at the time, at least officially.
However I don't know if it translated well to cycling, as the "miracle" products in the DDR were steroids of different kinds, including androgen.

The fact that nobody tested positive is not surprising. I used streroids, testosterone and HGH in the 80s and didnt fail any tests either. "Expert advise" guided my use in relation to major races and the testing, I believe, was not very comprehensive. Random testing at belgian kermis races was always a danger though. The locals seemed to know when the testers had showed up and as a result, guys who would normally rip your legs off would mysteriously pull out and go home early.
 
Not saying it was surprising (it still isn't...), it is a testament that the doping was effective (it worked and the athletes were not being caught) by all counts for its time. Maybe that was not difficult as tests were probably even more lax.

It seems there was positive results in the DDR lab though. But it was maybe part of the monitoring system to perfect masking.

EdIT: I was maybe a tad hyperbolic regarding women's swimming WRs. They did held for quite some time though.
 
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scenes from the past

ThisFrenchGuy said:
So, I guess it was covered before, but I had this question...

I do not think I have to tell you that East Germany had a very effective state sponsored doping program -which could be mentioned in the "Are PED safe thread"-. So effective that some of the records set in the 80's are plain and simply out of reach (only with the "suit frenzy" that broke 50 WRs or so have they been erased in 's natation...). But hey, they didn't test positive a lot.
The program was very large: young prospects were put on the medecine very early. It was also mandatory for athlets and coaches alike: the Stasi appointed informers among athlets to make sure the policy was inforced (and supposedly Heike Dreschler, track & field legend). Not that they knew exactly what they were given...

When the DDR collapsed, the program stopped obviously. Some of the coaches flew to China to break some more WRs via very fishy athletes. Others stayed in the new complete Germany and continued on their coaching duties (some only confessed recently on what was going on in the DDR, a fact that has caused quite an outcry from former East Germans athlets).

Ullrich, Klöden and Zabel are the most famous riders to have been born in the DDR. The question that pushed me to create this thread was: what do we know of their "" before the fall of the Wall? Could they have been victims of the DDR doping policy?

The little I know is: Zabel is born in 1970, Ullrich in 73, Klöden in 75. Klodi was still pretty young by the end of the DDR (14-15 years old more or less).

Ullrich, since he was 13, was riding for the SV Dynamo Berlin -an omnisport entity under the direction of the Stasi, like the CSKA Moscow is the official club of the army-. Trials at the end of nineties highlighted the central role of the club in the doping policy.

Zabel I do not know where he was riding: in accordance to soviet policies, athlets were prohibited from being pros.

So... does anyone know more?

_______________________________________
Once upon a time there was the DDR, but:
don´t ask the individual athletes of the former DDR. The sport officials and sport physicians bearing the responsibility in the DDR would have never risked an "outing" of an athlete, esp. from those succeeded to run away to the "West". A practice still used in the TELECOM as we have heard, tha the doped athletes never know the receipts they are receiving.
At present it seemed to me, that only "individuals" are cheating, what is a never ending problem with human ambition.
As a former rider in the DDR i know, that experts screened the biometric data of kids in schools and Kindergarten to develop super athletes and surely aided properly by "medicinical measures". The influence of such an early calculated medical treatment (steroids, e.g.) is impossible to proove. We often laughed knowingly about women with a bass voice and shaving utilities in their luggage.
Let´s forget this times.
At the beginning they all are decent and fair later come bigwhips with "good advices".
 

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Digger said:
The point Eva was making is that as organised as the doping was, it was still pretty ineffective in comparison to EPO. One he got on the EPO, he was on a level playing field.

Exactly.

When the wall came down the sports system was thrown into complete chaos. Much of the funding for the schools, and their doping programs, dried up.

A rider could be U23 world champion but if he is not on EPO in the 90's he is not going anywhere.
 
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Was Ullrich able to store his blood for free with Fuentes? Free deal since Ullrich is such a popular shining star? Was that German reporter really told to "shut his mouth" by the Court?

Digger said:
One he got on the EPO, he was on a level playing field.
One man receiving a 12% sustainable power gain at 59% crit and another getting 25% gains at 55% crit is level?
 
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Eva Maria said:
Exactly.

When the wall came down the sports system was thrown into complete chaos. Much of the funding for the schools, and their doping programs, dried up.

A rider could be U23 world champion but if he is not on EPO in the 90's he is not going anywhere.

I understood what you implied, but what Udo said can't be true. Before he became part of Telekom he became amongst other world champion. Of course after he got on the program with Telekom he became much better, but even with his old DDR regime he wouldn't have been dropped in the training.

So the point might have been clear, the anecdote is imho complete nonsense. Udo became profesionally involved with Ulrich well after his first great international succes :)

I know, I'm a smartass, it's just that I hate myths like "AC can't TT, Big Mig was a surprise winner, only caused by Epo". The reason why I try to squash them is because they can cause wrong analysis or interpretation.

For instance AC's climbing in 2007 is a lot more surprising than his TT skills this year. But everyone, including the expert media have this backwards. This causes people to focus on this years VAM, while in fact the root is what he did before 2007 (can we say Puerto?). Valverde and Jan are being hounded, but AC still manages to get away. And I want to bet a good amount of money that it's a lot easier to get the real deal out of the Puerto files than out of his current bloodvalues.

So I appologize, but I will keep on squashing myths :)
 

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Franklin said:
I understood what you implied, but what Udo said can't be true. Before he became part of Telekom he became amongst other world champion. Of course after he got on the program with Telekom he became much better, but even with his old DDR regime he wouldn't have been dropped in the training.

So the point might have been clear, the anecdote is imho complete nonsense. Udo became profesionally involved with Ulrich well after his first great international succes :)

I know, I'm a smartass, it's just that I hate myths like "AC can't TT, Big Mig was a surprise winner, only caused by Epo". The reason why I try to squash them is because they can cause wrong analysis or interpretation.

For instance AC's climbing in 2007 is a lot more surprising than his TT skills this year. But everyone, including the expert media have this backwards. This causes people to focus on this years VAM, while in fact the root is what he did before 2007 (can we say Puerto?). Valverde and Jan are being hounded, but AC still manages to get away. And I want to bet a good amount of money that it's a lot easier to get the real deal out of the Puerto files than out of his current bloodvalues.

So I appologize, but I will keep on squashing myths :)

In this case the story is true. I have heard it first hand from more then one member of the team.
 
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Franklin said:
For instance AC's climbing in 2007 is a lot more surprising than his TT skills this year. This causes people to focus on this years VAM, while in fact the root is what he did before 2007 (can we say Puerto?). So I appologize, but I will keep on squashing myths :)

Don't apologize....keep squashing!
 
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ThisFrenchGuy said:
Indeed, though in retrospect I guess all athletes from DDR had their doubts when the system was exposed. Some of them might have known what was going on.

Despite taking place in the 80, the doping was incredibly effective in some sports: many of the DDR records in track & field are still out of reach of modern best athletes, the swimming ones fell to either Chineses coached by the same guys or in the actual situation (with "suits" totally breaking the limits of what's possible). The fact that it was long-term, constant doping maybe explains it. As far as I know, despite systematic doping, those athletes did not test positive at the time, at least officially.
However I don't know if it translated well to cycling, as the "miracle" products in the DDR were steroids of different kinds, including androgen.

And because those products dont work in cycling, no great Champ of the "Friedensfahrt" was going to be great in the Pro-(Western)-Peloton.

So for Ullrich (even tough he did took products), he was as great as he looked and drove. Coming to Berlin, beating older guys etc.

So i wudnt give to much into the Udo-Bolts-Story from a previous post.
 
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beroepsrenner said:
The fact that nobody tested positive is not surprising. I used streroids, testosterone and HGH in the 80s and didnt fail any tests either. "Expert advise" guided my use in relation to major races and the testing, I believe, was not very comprehensive. Random testing at belgian kermis races was always a danger though. The locals seemed to know when the testers had showed up and as a result, guys who would normally rip your legs off would mysteriously pull out and go home early.

Bereopsrenner, you really are the reason that I love this forum so much, and why after so long reading, I decided to jump in and log on.

Is it that the locals recognised the testers, or is it that they were given friendly advice that the testers were in town?

How does one beat the tests? Do you just stop taking the drugs enough time before the race so that it's no longer there, or are they masking with something else?
Cheers.
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
And because those products dont work in cycling, no great Champ of the "Friedensfahrt" was going to be great in the Pro-(Western)-Peloton.

While I can see what you are saying, wouldn't they have an influence in track cycling?

FoxxyBrown1111 said:
So for Ullrich (even tough he did took products), he was as great as he looked and drove. Coming to Berlin, beating older guys etc.

Is it an affirmative or a possibility, I'm not quite sure by reading it?

The control system was at least in place until the end: Dreschler had to ask for an authorization to have a child (yeah that also...) less than a year before the collapse of the DDR.

groverjones said:
How does one beat the tests? Do you just stop taking the drugs enough time before the race so that it's no longer there, or are they masking with something else?
Cheers.

Not an expert but:
- Masking agent
- Some drugs have lasting effects beyond their life in the athlete's system. Others are quickly flushed of the system.
- The anti-doping testers have to know what they look for. In the BALCO case, the product used belonged to a known family of PED, yet this specific drug was "unknown".

In the DDR, a pharm company (Jenapharm) was in charge of making the PEDs. They certainly would have expertise on creating variations of PEDs to beat the test, create the specific masking agent, and hand a guideline of its properties.

There's otherwise a certain number of tricks that riders performed in the past to either "corrupt" or substitute the samples they provided (concerns urine mostly).
 
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groverjones said:
Bereopsrenner, you really are the reason that I love this forum so much, and why after so long reading, I decided to jump in and log on.

Is it that the locals recognised the testers, or is it that they were given friendly advice that the testers were in town?

How does one beat the tests? Do you just stop taking the drugs enough time before the race so that it's no longer there, or are they masking with something else?
Cheers.

It was a little of all these things and it would depend on what you were using as to how to go about beating the controls. I feel that it would be irresponsible of me to go into detail on a public forum even though the PEDs I used are obsolete now.
 
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FoxxyBrown1111 said:
And because those products dont work in cycling, no great Champ of the "Friedensfahrt" was going to be great in the Pro-(Western)-Peloton.

So for Ullrich (even tough he did took products), he was as great as he looked and drove. Coming to Berlin, beating older guys etc.

So i wudnt give to much into the Udo-Bolts-Story from a previous post.

I dont know why you think that steroids dont work in cycling??? They were what we referred to as training drugs and certainly improved my muscle strength which in turn improved my power output. This helped me to be able to react to accelerations on a long climb and to be able to sustain longer attacks on the front. It depends on what training you do along with their use. I used DecaDurabalin and did not bulk up significantly. A track sprinter on the other hand bulks up noticably as the training is different. They dont do the long road training ( I knew a track sprinter who thought 80km was a long ride :rolleyes:) but do lots of short sharp explosive type work and a lot of weight training in the gym. The main reason its use stopped on the road was because it became too easily detected.
 

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