As a child and teen, Thomas Götze is interested in swimming, football and chess. In the end, however, he takes up athletics and is promoted by the East German sports system. From 1976 through 1978 Götze trains in the throwing disciplines at an elite school for young athletes (KJS) in Dresden. While there, he is unwittingly given so-called ‘supporting substances’ by his coach, guised as vitamins.
His performance improves rapidly, in hammer throwing by as much as 15 meters a year. Thomas matures into what looks like a promising career. Then he suffers a protracted shoulder injury that has him callously dropped from the team.
Today Götze battles serious health issues as a result of the state’s criminal doping scheme.
As Andreas Krieger and other former high-performance athletes, he now campaigns against doping in sports.
Former GDR hammer thrower Thomas Gotze, 53, now a state prosecutor in Germany, was given so many pills as a teenager that he would work out for up to six hours. “I only found out later they were steroids,” he says.