If you’re not familiar with Andrea Krieger’s story, Andreas, born Heidi Kreiger was a female track and field athlete who specialized in shot put for the former East Germany in the 1970s and 1980s. At the time, there was a lot of pressure put on by the Communist government toward their athletes to be successful in international sports. Unfortunately, this led to non-consensual doping for many athletes, including Heidi who had no knowledge they were taking steroids.
The documentary, Andreas Krieger: Heidi’s Farthest Throw, produced by the United States Anti-Doping Association, in collaboration with the German National Anti-Doping Association. Takes the viewer into a deep look into Andreas life and the tragic consequences of the East German doping program. Including Andreas’ journey in discovering and understanding his gender identity. A journey in which Andreas’ was forced to take as a matter of life and death. While Krieger identifies as a trans male, it was a gender identity that Krieger couldn’t come to explore and accept on his own terms. The steroids in his system as a result of the doping, were so substantial, that it was medically necessary to transition to male.
“The clean sport community applauds Andreas for the bravery he has shown in sharing his story with us,” says USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “Anyone who has the opportunity to meet with former East German athletes, and to hear their stories, is reminded that we must do whatever we can to protect athletes from those who would prey on them for their own gain.”
In addition to looking into his past, the film documents Andreas’ efforts in fighting for clean sport, at a time when the fight against doping is greater than ever. Serving on the board of Germany’s Doping Victim Organization, Kreiger is using his story to spread education and awareness of the consequences that doping can have on the individual athletes as well as the scope of fair play and ethical considerations in sports.
“It is important for us to learn from the past,” added NADA chairwoman Andrea Gotzmann. “We are very pleased to present this film with Andreas Krieger. We want to work together to protect young athletes. With his story, we hope to encourage them to think about the issue and to proactively and decidedly say ‘No’ to doping.”
By Dirk Smith