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Former East German athlete wants name removed from record

AFP · 23 Jan 2010, 16:12

Published: 23 Jan 2010 16:12 GMT+01:00

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"I had become increasingly aware my name would remain forever associated with this record unless I did something," Tettenborn told weekly magazine Der Spiegel.

"I would, in a way, feel responsible should young athletes use drugs in an effort to try and beat this record."

Tettenborn competed under her maiden name of Walther in the East German squad which set the then-world record of 3min 15.92sec, which took three seconds off the previous mark, on June 3, 1984.

The Soviet Union squad then broke the world record at the 1988 Olympic Games, lowering the record to 3min 15.17sec.

The earlier record set by the East German squad has always been presented as a national record here, but Tettenborn wants no part of it anymore.

"It is clear that for some, I am now one of those who has dirtied the past, but I had to do this for myself," explained the 47-year-old.

She also admitted taking doping products to prepare for the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, when aged just 17.

"My coach would have exploded in rage if I had said I did not want to take these pills anymore," she said.

Story continues below…

Another former GDR sprinter, Ines Geipel, has also made a similar step, asking the German Athletics Federation to have her name removed from the 4x100m world club record.

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Your comments about this article

21:29 January 23, 2010 by wxman
What a class act! She truly is a world class athlete! Good for her. Another shovel of dirt onto the grave of a crooked, evil regime.
00:55 January 24, 2010 by snorge
Why bother is my question.....
08:51 January 24, 2010 by Meringer
Snorge, if you have to ask such a question, you would never truly understand the answer. It has to do with morals, scruples, ethics, honor, selfrespect and just doing the right thing.
11:28 January 24, 2010 by snorge

Morals, scruples, ehtics and honor? The existence of the DDR violated all that. It's gone now, so why bother?
15:31 January 24, 2010 by mixxim
DDR - dangerously doped runners?
20:22 January 24, 2010 by Meringer
snorge, although the DDR obviously did not have a sense of honor, apparently she does , and feels she needs to tell the truth It is easy to do the right thing when there is a reward in it for you. It takes a special person to do the right thing wihen there is no reward and in fact, most likely, a punishment and yet still do it. I commend her and I see her more as a victim of the DDR than as a perpetrator. Hopefully, more people will come forward and tell of other attrocities commited by the former communist Governments, ones far worse and more sinister. It is time to shine a light.
01:41 January 25, 2010 by lordwilliams629
Does she look like a man?
02:41 January 26, 2010 by psncampbell
As a Jamaican I must say that MERLENE OTTEY has been the most affected athlete from all the doping that went on "undetected" during the 80's. It really bleeds my heart for her. If it were not for the various dopinds I think Ottey would be the most decorated female athlete in the World. For Ottey to have survive the 80's by winning so many medals, if it were not for the handicap the majority of those medals would have been GOLD MEDALS.I think the IAAF should look back at Ottey's record and compensate her.

05:05 January 26, 2010 by jgrantsf
How do we know that Merlene Ottey was not one of the 'undetected" sprinters of the 80s? The fact that she ran competitively until she was almost 40 yrs old!, would lead me to believe that she probably belonged to that group.

Unfortunately, as another poster pointed out, Track and Field thrives on breaking records, and the sport was/is full of dopers. Many of the dopers like Marion Jones, have never been detected, even though they've been caught.

It is a futile exercise to speculate who is or was 'clean'.
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