Gold medal strongman Steiner backs anti-doping fight

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Gold medal strongman Steiner backs anti-doping fight
Photo: DPA

Amid a tale of personal tragedy and triumph, Germany’s adopted gold medallist strongman Matthias Steiner is backing the sport's efforts to rid itself of doping cheats.


The super-heavyweight, fresh from winning his first Olympic weightlifting gold medal on Tuesday, said he had been tested 10 times already this year.

"I certainly believe that it's a positive development, the fact that doping systems work and are effective," Steiner said referring to the increased testing.

Weightlifting, along with athletics and cycling among Olympic sports, are a key front in the battle against performance-enhancing substances. Bulgaria withdrew its weightlifting team to these Games after some of their members returned positive results.

But Steiner had to overcome much more than beating the cheats to take the gold this week in Beijing. Born in Vienna, he fell out with Austrian weightlifting officials a few years ago, who didn’t believe he had what it took to become a world champion.

“He can start for Sweden, Germany, Kazakhstan or Carpetland – we don’t care,” the former deputy chairman of the Austrian weightlifting association said back in 2005. He then decided to apply for the citizenship of his late German wife, who died tragically in a car accident last year.

On the victory podium with the gold medal around his neck he showed a picture of his wife and dedicated the moment to her. “I hope and believe that she saw all this. I’m not a superstitious guy, but hope that’s the case,” Steiner said.



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