Former Olympic Athlete Renate Bauer in conversation with Dr. Jutta Braun (ZdS)

Discussion, DHI London

In the wake of the Olympic Games of 1972 not only training sessions but also medical enhancement was intensified in the female swimming cadre. The athletes, however, were hardly ever informed about the nature of the substances they were exposed to. Rumours about doping were rampant which made Renate Bauer, the GDR’s favourite in the discipline of breaststroke, feel like a guinea pig. When she fell from favour with the athletic functionaries because she only managed to come in second after the West German swimmer Christel Justen in the European Championship in 1974, the idea to flee started to ripen in her. Renate Bauer fled the GDR in 1979.

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Renate Bauer (née Vogel), born 1955 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, won the Olympic Silver medal in 1972 (4x 100 m medlay relay), became 3 times world champion in 1973 (100 m breaststroke, 200 m breaststroke, 4x100 m medlay relay) and European champion in the 4x100m medley relay and 2nd in the discipline of 100 m breaststroke in 1974.