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Germany

GDR Doping Victims Compensated

German Interior Minister Otto Schily said Monday that the state-run compensation fund had concluded its case into the doping victims of former East Germany (GDR). The fund, set up in 2002, has awarded 10,400 euros ($12,800) to 193 former athletes from the GDR who suffered lasting physical and mental damage as a result of the state-run drug program in former East Germany. In all 308 claims were made by former athletes. "The financial support from the government is small compensation for the suffering of the victims," Schily said. "It is almost impossible to compensate for the physical and mental suffering they endured." From 1972 to 1988 the GDR won 384 Olympic medals -- and that was ignoring the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles they boycotted. But it soon became clear the state was operating an illegal win-at-all costs strategy. Athletes as young as ten were pumped with performance-enhancing steroids by their coaches who told them the little pills were vitamin supplements. After East Germany and West Germany united in 1990, the West set up a committee to investigate the activities of East German scientists, and found that virtually all of East Germany's top athletes were victims of a state-run drugs program.

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