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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  July 4, 2019 12:30am-1:00am BST

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britain and china are embroiled in a growing row, over the treatment of protesters in hong kong. china's ambassador has been summoned to the foreign office in london, after warning britain not to interfere in its domestic affairs. china has accused london of supporting the demonstrators in hong kong, and accused it of fantasising about colonialism. more than a million people have been ordered out of their homes injapan, because of torrential rain, flooding and the danger of landslides. forecasters say the rain is set to continue and this video of a volcano erupting on the italian island of stromboli is most watched online. a hiker has been killed when he was hit by flying rock, —— that's all. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news it's hardtalk.
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welcome to hardtalk, from berlin. i'm stephen sackur. when this infamous wall was breached, 30 years ago, the darkest secrets of the east german police state were soon exposed. among them, the systematic doping of thousands of young athletes to make them into world—beaters, regardless of the damage to their health. now, one of those victims is my guest today, former sprinter, ines geipel. now, she has been fighting for justice for those who were doped for decades. others chose to remain silent. why did she opt to speak out? theme music plays.
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ines geipel, welcome to hardtalk. let us go back to the beginning and tell me how you, as a child born in east germany — yourfamily raised you in dresden — how you, as a girl, became involved in the abuse of hormones, the doping scandal in east germany?
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obviously you were lied to. what did your coaches tell you, when they presented you with these blue pills, what did they say they were, and what were they for?
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the drug you were administered — and we now know because it is all written about in detailed stasi files, so we have the records — you received, like so many other young talented athletes, you received turinabol, which was this hormone, which so many different young people took. it is for many people hard to believe that you did not know that you were receiving an illegal drug. you were 17, then in your early 20s when you were still taking it. surely you had some thoughts that this was notjust a vitamin, it was something more, after all, your body was changing.
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what impact do you believe these drugs had upon you?
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how was your body changing?
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you keep talking about the system, and you have described what happened to you and so many other young athletes as a "sick experiment" run by a regime which had no interest in your health, but simply wanted to be the greatest sporting nation in the world for political reasons. you've said "that is sick, they stole my childhood". from the point of view of the gdr, the east german socialist republic, it worked. they won — i'm looking at the record — they won hundreds of gold medals. in fact, only third behind the united states and the soviet union in terms of their haul of olympic golds between 1968 and 1988. do you think, for them, the programme was working?
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it's interesting to me that in 1984 you were part of the club relay team, from jena, in east germany, which won the world record for the 4x100 metre relay. and you afterwards, years afterwards, when all of this came out into the open, said that you wanted your name deleted from that record. why did you say that?
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your personal story became ever darker because, in 1984, at the height of your athletics career, you decided you wanted to escape east germany. i think you had fallen in love with a mexican athlete, and you made plans to leave east germany. the authorities learned of your plan and, ultimately, you were required to undergo a very serious operation, a stomach operation, which left you with long—term health problems. it killed your athletics career. you have suggested that it was done deliberately to crush your ambition to leave the country. do you have any evidence to prove that?
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what about your father in all of this? we know from the files, that your father was in the stasi, the east german secret police. even if you did not know it when you were a child, he was in the stasi. do you believe he colluded with the authorities in what happened to you?
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but do you believe he colluded in this determination to crush you, physically and mentally?
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after the berlin wall came down, and the unification of germany, you became one of the leading voices speaking for all of the hundreds, —— after the berlin wall came down, and the unification of germany, you became one of the leading voices speaking for all of the hundreds, actually thousands, of young east german athletes who were part of this doping programme. tell me what kind of physical and mental problems these people have had in the years since they were part of the doping scheme.
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what about you ? forgive me for a personal question, but you are not able to have children, and do you believe that is directly connected to the drugs you were required to take in the sports programme in east germany?
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in that case, and given what you have said about the reasons that you were given that surgery, do you feel that the east german state robbed you of an important part of your life?
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what about accountability and punishment for those responsible for this? you know, we've talked a lot about the east german state, but there are individuals. a couple of east german doctors were put on trial. they were found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to athletes, such as yourself, and you and others have been over the years awarded some compensation, i think amounting to tens of thousands of euros. does that, to you, represent any form of justice?
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what do you make of those few east german athletes who deny much of what you have said? i mean, there is one in particular, marlies gohr, who was a contemporary of yours — i believe she ran with you in that greatjena relay team that broke the record in 1984 — and she says, "the truth is ines geipel was a nobody. she was nothing. she was never on the east german national team. she only was in our club relay for a time, and now she wants to gain a high
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profile by saying all of this." how do you respond to that? ijust wonder what is it, do you think, that motivates people like marlies gohr and the other great sprinters, like marita koch and renate stecher, who say that they did not take drugs, that their records were genuine, that they had talent, they were great athletes, and that what you have said and done in recent years simply delegitimises and undermines them?
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in recent years, you have written very interestingly about the connections between this abuse, this doping, that was systematic in east germany, and the deeper traumas that people in the east have experienced. as you have said in your own writing, that people in the east, families, have never really talked about what it meant to live under successive dictatorships — the nazis and then the communists. people, you say, don't realise how traumatised people in the east have been.
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do you think that is relevant when we talk about what happened in east germany, and the way in which it has been dealt with since german unification? do you think the west hasn't been good at understanding the east? i mean, because in politics today in germany, we see that, in the east, there is very strong support for far—right anti—immigrant parties, stronger than in most regions of western germany.
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we see that hate crimes, frankly, are disproportionately in the east rather than in the west of germany. is there a lack of understanding, a lack of sympathy and empathy?
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you make it sound as though the east, the communities, the families in the east of germany, haven't found happiness in the unified germany — that many in the east remain, frankly, bitter, feel neglected, and are unhappy.
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let me end by bringing it back to where we began. when you watch sports today, do you in your heart feel that many of those who are winning at the top, whether it be athletics, whether it be other sports, such as cycling, they are there because they may well have cheated ?
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ines geipel, i thank you very much for being on hardtalk. hello there. for some parts of the uk, the next couple of days will bring blue skies, sunshine and warmth. but in other places, it will look and feel very different. this is how it looked in the far north of scotland on wednesday. on the satellite picture, you can see the way in which this
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cloud has been approaching, pushing in from the north—west, and as this cloud makes more progress, we will see some outbreaks of rain. so, as we head through thursday, rain initially across the northern and the western isles will increasingly spread across the northern half of mainland scotland. the heaviest rain always across hills in the west. to the east of high ground, the rain very showery, very patchy in nature. more cloud filtering into northern england, northern ireland through the day, but the further south you are, we're going to see quite a lot of sunshine and some real warmth. 2a degrees for birmingham, 26 degrees in london, so that's the sort of temperature we could well attain at wimbledon during thursday afternoon. certainly sunny skies overhead, very light winds as well. the day ends on a sunny note across the southern half of the uk. but further north, we have our cloud, we have outbreaks of patchy rain, sinking a little further southwards, and then a new push of slightly heavier, more persistent rain gets into the far north—west of scotland by the end of the night. quite a mild night, as well —
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lows of 11—15 degrees. so, as we go into friday, high pressure still trying to hold on across the south. some fine weather here, but these frontal systems will continue to bring some outbreaks of rain across the north of the uk. certainly a lot of cloud for northern ireland, north—west england and scotland, some rain once again pushing down across the northern half of scotland through the day. ahead of that, in the sunshine, some real warmth — 26, maybe 27 degrees. but underneath the cloud, with the outbreaks of rain, it will feel cooler — 17 degrees in aberdeen, 18 in belfast. and that is a sign of things to come, because as we move out of friday into the weekend, these frontal systems in the north will make some progress further south, and as this cold front here moves southwards, it will open the door to some cooler air. the winds switching round to north or north—westerlies. this band of rain sinking southwards, maybe getting stuck across southern england and south wales for a time. could be the odd spot of rain here on saturday. elsewhere, patchy cloud and sunny spells, but with those north or north—westerly winds,
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not especially brisk for most of us, butjust bringing a slightly cooler feel, so temperatures 13 degrees in aberdeen, and maybe 22 in london. and we keep those slightly lower temperatures as we head into sunday. a lot of dry weather, a lot of cloud as well, but some spells of sunshine.
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i'm mariko oi in singapore, the headlines: china tells the uk to keep out of its affairs as a row over britain's support for hong kong's protesters deepens. the uk government has chosen to stand on the wrong side. it has made inappropriate remarks. more than a million people are told to leave their homes in japan because of torrential rain and flooding. i'm kasia madera in london. also in the programme: a laclustre game in lyon sees the netherlands go through to the final of the women's world cup, they'll face the usa. diagnosing dementia
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