The announcement that 15-year-old Russian figure skating star Kamila Valieva had tested positive for a banned substance echoed another dark Olympic era. And it sent a chilling reminder that female athletes in certain sports have long been considered disposable in countries that support state-sponsored doping.

From the late 1960s until the late 1980s, East Germany, a country of fewer than 17 million people, kept pace in the Olympic medal chase with the United States and the Soviet Union with systematic doping known by the bland euphemism “supporting means.”

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.