At the end of the day no one can be shocked that women’s bodybuilding is “virtually ignored by mainstream media” when it’s largely ignored by the bodybuilding industry. Women’s bodybuilding has changed since the first Olympia and we can point fingers a number of directionsÂ why it changed but that doesn’t do much good. Where will female bodybuilding go from here? Only time will tell but until the division is embraced within the bodybuilding industry we shouldn’t be surprised by featuresÂ like the one HBO chose to air.
Under the auspices of East Germany’s elite sports federation, headed by Manfred Ewald and monitored by the Ministry of State Security (known as Stasi), the government used doping as part of a deceptive master plan to secure international prestige through success in sports. Girls as young as 12 were recruited from across the country, and without their knowledge, were regularly administered untested steroids and male hormones as part of their training. Ultimately, Olympic gold came at a disturbing price for many of the German athletes, specificially side effects ranging from male-type hair growth and deepened voices to liver and heart disease, depression, infertility, miscarriages, and even death.