Doping: Connolly, Harold Leichtathlet USA

Harold Connolly, Hammerwerfer

Hammerwerfer Harold Connolly gewann 1956 bei den Olympischen Spielen die Goldmedaille, nachdem er zuvor beriets 6 Weltrekorde aufgestellt hatte. Er nahm auch an den Spielen 1960 und 1964 teil.

1984 wurde er in die Hall of Fame der US-Leichtathletik aufgenommen. (New York Times, 19.8.2010)

Harold Connolly machte 1972, veröffentlicht 1973, während der Senatsanhörung zu Drogen im Sport ausführliche Angaben über seine Beobachtungen und Erfahrungen mit Dopingmitteln, s.u.. Lange Zeit sah er darin wenig Probleme und trat vor allem für die Freigabe von Steroiden ein, zumal keine ausreichenden Kontrollen stattfanden und auch auf internationaler Ebene deren Konsum der Normalfall war.

1983 sprach er gegenüber der New York Times ebenfalls über seine Dopingvergangenheit und wiederholte dies auch 1991.

New York Times: An Athlete With No Illusions About Steroids

Statement von Haraold Connolly 1972 während des US-Senat Hearings zu Drogenkonsum im Sport


Mr. CONNOLLY. On July 9. 1972.

I weighed 250 pounds. Today I weigh 203. The difference in body weight. I am sure. is due in considerable measure to the fact that I stopped taking anabolic steroids. From July 10. 1972, the day after the Olympic tryouts in the hammer throw, I have not taken any drugs whatsoever, but for the 8 years prior to that, I would have to refer to myself as a hooked athlete. Like nearly all of my competitors, I was using anabolic steroids as an integral part of my training for the hammer throw.

Over the years I tried every variety of anabolic steroid available in the United States. In recent years i even tried European varieties of steroids which were brought back by fellow American athletes thinking that the Europeans might have something better than we had. I was administered these drugs and given prescriptions for them by American physicians and by doctors in Finland, where I taught for 2 years, 1962 to 1964, on a Fulbright grant. During this whole steroid drug experience, no one seemed to quite know what he was doing. The doctors varied their recommended dosages, and nearly always the dosages I took exceeded what the doctors recommended because my fellow athletes kept insisting I was taking far too little. I never had any noticeable side effects except perhaps on a few occasions an excessive retention of water. I was convinced they made me stronger and heavier.

Just prior to the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo all around me it seemed that more and more athletes were using steroids for athletic preparation, and one began to feel that he was placing himself in a decided disadvantage if he did not also get on the sports medicine bandwagon. I first became exposed to the use of drugs as a means to improve athletic performance at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome.

I heard from some American weight lifters that the Russians were using some bodybuilding drug which increased their muscular proportion and their strength. When I came home, I asked a physician I knew what it might be, and after a little research, he told me that the only thing he .could find that would fit the description were anabolic steroids. For a 4-week period I tried, under the doctor’s direction, the steroid Dianabol. I had no noticeable changes in body weight or strength and I very quickly abandoned its use. I didn’t use these drugs again until 1964 for the Tokyo Olympic games.

The big question which remains in my mind is how much in actuality did the taking of these drugs improve my performance in the hammer throw? To be sure, using them I gained weight and strength. The difference between my world record while on drugs (233 ft., 91/2 inches) and my world record while completely free of drugs (231 ft., 21/2 inches) was only 2 ft., 7 inches better, certainly not a significant difference.

The first time I became aware that amphetamine stimulants were also being used to increase athletic performance was likewise at the 1960 Olympic games. A teammate from another weight-throwing event with whom I was rooming tried to convince me to use the same dosage of amphetamine he used before each competition. Since I never had tried these drugs, and didn’t want to risk any unusual responses, I declined. After the competition in which I did rather poorly. a German athlete friend of mine in the same event remarked that I had looked lethargic and he asked me if I had tak.,% anything to get excited. When I told him I hadn’t he was amazed and told meI was a fool. The following year I experimented on myself with the use of amphetamines for competition and found that they did me much more harm than good. …

In 1972, as I looked around I realized the world of international track and field had undergone fundamental changes since my first Olympic experience in 1956.1 am sure that in the Melbourne Olympic games very few athletes used drugs to increase performance. There were certainly no anabolic steroids being used to my. knowledge. By 1960 and 1964, it was mainly the weightmen and weight lifters who were using the steroids. But by 1968, athletes in every event were using anabolic steroids and stimulants. The use of marihuana by a number of athletes also became a favorite method of relaxing after a hard workout or competition. Tranquilizers also came into wide use as a means of coming down from an amphetamine high. Perhaps because I dislike any form of smoking so much, I never had the slightest interest in marihuana. Moreover. I am also averse to the use of marihuana or alcohol because I feel they impair judgment.

The so-called restorative drugs which I had never heard of before the 1964 games started to come into wide use. Enzymes, muscle relaxants. and anti- inflammatory drugs were being widely used. Many athletes I knew strongly relied en the nse of anti-inflammatory drugs after very strenuous weight training sessions to reduce the soreness they would ordinarily feel the next day. Drugs were frequently used in combinations. One world record holder I knew would combine methamphetamine or Rita lin and Darvon. The amphetamine to get him up and the Darron to reduce all skeletal pain and to keep him from being, too agitated by the amphetamine. These drugs were used both for training aud for competitions. It was not unusal in 1968 to see athletes with their own medicine kits, practically doctor’s bags, in which they would have syringes and all their various drugs. …