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Tuesday, December 30, 1997 Published at 15:59 GMT


Former athlete 'turned into a man'

Heidi Krieger claims that she was forced to take steroids from the age of 16

A former East German athlete has accused her doctor of effectively "turning her into a man" through the excessive use of steroids in the 1980s.

Prosecutors in Germany are examining allegations by Heidi Krieger, who was European shot-put champion in 1986, that she had to undergo a sex change operation as a result of the male hormones she was given during training in the 1980s.

Male characteristics

Ms Krieger, who has changed her name to Andries, says performance-enhancing drugs led her to develop facial hair, a pronounced Adam's apple and other male characteristics.

She says that when her career ended she had little choice but to have a full sex change operation to become a man.

Michelle Verroken, director of ethics and anti-doping at the UK Sports Council, on the East German attitude to steroids (2' 57")
Ms Krieger has laid charges against the unnamed doctor who treated her and has gone into hiding.

German justice officials say nearly 200 former coaches and other officials from the old East German Communist government are being investigated over the systematic abuse of steroids in athletics.

Earlier this week, four Olympic swimmers, including a British woman, were told they could be given medals 17 years after the Moscow Games after it was discovered that several East German girls who beat them had been taking performance-enhancing drugs.

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