Athletics

1984 Olympic gold winner admits to doping

Discus (File)
Discus (File)

The Hague - Former Dutch 1984 Olympic discus gold medallist Ria Stalman on Friday admitted to taking anabolic steroids to enhance her performance, 31 years after triumphing at the Los Angeles Games.

"During the final two years of my career, I daily used a light dosage of anabolic steroids," Stalman said in an interview with the Dutch NOS public newscaster.

Stalman, 32 at the time, told the Friday night television programme "Andere Tijden Sport" (Earlier Days in Sport) that her decision to take part in doping was sparked after a pre-Olympic visit to the former East Germany.

She said she saw signs there that many women were using steroids.

"I wanted to beat them badly at the Olympics," said Stalman, now 64.

"I then thought: the only way was that if you can't beat them, join them," she said, adding she used doping during heavy bouts of training to help her recover faster.

Ironically, the 1984 Olympic Games saw a Soviet Union-led boycott by former Eastern Bloc countries including East Germany, as well as Cuba - payback for the West's snub of the 1980 Moscow Games.

It was not clear why Stalman, who was named the Netherlands' 1984 Sportswoman of the Year after the Games, decided to come clean more than three decades later.

Apart from Stalman's medal, the Netherlands won four other golds including two for swimming, two silvers and six bronzes in the Games dominated by the United States with 83 golds, followed by Romania with 20.

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