Thursday, March 31, 2011

Great episode of PBS' Secrets of the Dead on female athletes and steroid use

The episode's title is "Doping for Gold" and here is its summary:
"In the 1970s, female East German athletes came from nowhere to dominate international sport. But behind their success lay a horrifying secret. Doping for Gold reveals the truth behind the biggest state-sponsored doping program the world has ever known, creating a timely perspective on today’s many sports drug scandals."

What I found very interesting, and think maybe Dr. Van will in relation to the novel Annabel, is that two of the athletes' bodies, aside from sustaining numerous injuries, which were often ignored or not fully treated, develop such strong masculine characteristics that they have been ostracized by society, taunted as transvestites, transexuals and homosexuals. The women themselves admit to having a difficult time coming to terms with their sexuality and gender identity, and one of them currently lives as a man and is in a realtionship with another ex-athlete who in turn has been and continues to battle eating disorders.

1 comment:

  1. Also, the case of Caster Semenya was interesting. In the past, female athletes who competed in the Olympic games were required to undergo gender testing due to suspicions of female athletes' true gender. Allegedly, some men "chose" or attempted to compete in the women's league.