March 24, 2005

Still Living With the Consequences

Last drug story for this week, I promise. This concerns a story that doesn't get enough attention in North America, which is the state-run doping programme of the German Democratic Republic. Last week, a group of athletes who were given performance-enhancing substances without their knowledge — some of them were only 10 years old at the time — launched a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

This is one of the very few instances in the world where a systematic and scientific doping programme has been fully exposed. Unfortunately, although a lengthy investigation resulted in 356 convictions, none of those involved have really been punished for giving thousands of young Germans illegal drugs without consent.

And now some of those athletes are suing … for 10,000 Euros each? That's it!? I'm not presuming that the pharmaceutical company knew what was going on, or that any damages will be awarded. But can you imagine how many millions we'd be talking about if this had happened in the U.S.A?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well a few interesting things from amateur -- as to the injury to the kayaker by the single skull -- in Boston while I was there we operated on a rower who was speared by an eight right through his pelvic bones and into his intestinal cavity -- the rower came into the ER with the nose of the boat still in his abdomen -- that Scot is lucky to have escaped with only a "flesh wound"...
I cannot believe that the east german athletes are only suing for 10K euros... I agree that they would likely sue for millions in USA... The US congress should get the se people to testify rather than Canseco and McGuire... it might make for more compelling deterrent!