ATHLETICS: ’88 OG decathlon champ Schenk admits doping

The 1988 Olympic Decathlon winner, then-East German Christian Schenk, now 53, admitted in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that he was doping since at least age 20. A Google translation of his comments included, “For me, [doping] was like reaching the next level, almost a tribute. Getting the pills meant I was on the squad that was expected to perform well.”

Schenk has an autobiography coming out in the next week in which he details a devastating bout with mental illness since 2009, in which he identified with an ISIS assassin. He said he’s not sure if the doping program he was a part of during time as a GDR athlete was a cause of his later mental trauma.

Schenk, then 23, led a 1-2 decathlon finish for the GDR in Seoul, scoring 8,488 points ahead of Torsten Voss (8,399) and Canada’s David Steen (8,328). Will the IAAF do anything about this? Prior IAAF presidents have shied away from re-assigning medals from the 1970s and 1980s, but here is another case of a GDR athlete who admits participation in the state-sponsored doping scheme.