If Liu and the other Chinese weightlifters are stripped of their Beijing gold medals, the question remains: Did they have any choice in any doping? Liu, who was originally selected as a judo athlete, has toiled in the state sports system since she was a little girl. (Four years ago, she was receiving less than $10,000 in annual salary for her record-breaking contributions to the state.) Eight years ago, I visited a shabby sports school in eastern Shandong province where young weightlifters spent the days in a clanging gym in lieu of primary school. After training, the kids, with their callused and chalk-stained hands, walked up to a table lined with paper cups. Each cup held a few pills, which they swallowed, one after the other, with gulps of warm water.
In 1991 Brigitte Berendonk and Werner Franke , two opponents of the doping, published several theses which had been drafted former researchers in the GDR doping products which were at the Military Medical Academy Bad Saarow. Based on this work, in their book (translated from German as Doping Documents ) they were able to reconstruct the practice of doping as it was organized by the State on many great athletes from the GDR, including Marita Koch and Heike Drechsler , who have denied the allegations. Brigitte Berendonk survived a 1993 lawsuit where Drechsler accused her of lying. The lawsuit essentially validates the book. [ improper synthesis? ]  
In November 1942, the Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi took "seven packets of amphetamine" to beat the world hour record on the track.  In 1960, the Danish rider Knud Enemark Jensen collapsed during the 100 km team time trial at the Olympic Games in Rome and died later in hospital. The autopsy showed he had taken amphetamine and another drug, Ronicol , which dilates the blood vessels. The chairman of the Dutch cycling federation, Piet van Dijk, said of Rome that "dope – whole cartloads – [were] used in such royal quantities."