AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Former Dutch discus thrower Ria Stalman, who won Olympic gold 32 years ago, has admitted doping in the latter stages of her career.
Stalman said in an interview with Dutch broadcaster NOS released on Friday that she used anabolic steroids in the run-up to the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
“In the last two-and-a-half years of my career I used a light dosage of anabolic steroids, five to 10 milligrams a day,” the 64-year-old said.
“Back then it was also prohibited but I could do it without any risk during training because there were no out-of-competition controls.”
Stalman clinched gold in Los Angeles with a best throw of 65.36 metres, half a metre ahead of silver medallist Leslie Deniz of the United States and nearly two metres clear of third-placed Romanian Florenta Craciunescu.
She retired soon after the LA Games and later in 1984 was named the Dutch sportsperson of the year.
Stalman said she began doping after realising she could not compete with more powerful eastern European athletes.
“I wanted to go to the Olympics,” she added. “As an insignificant Dutch thrower I visited Eastern Europe a couple of times. My personal record was 56 metres.
“During the warmup you see all those ‘refrigerators’ walking around and they kicked my ass with 15 metres difference. So I thought ‘what can I do to beat them at the Olympics?’, said Stalman.
“If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s what I did.”
(Writing by Toby Davis; editing by Tony Jimenez)