Sports Outside the Beltway

German track and field athlete announces retirement and plans for a sex change

Some of you may remember how East German athletes were made to use steroids and the consequences that had. Yvonne Buschbaum’s story is different.

BERLIN: German pole-vaulter Yvonne Buschbaum announced her retirement Wednesday, saying she had long felt as if she were “in the wrong body” and planned hormone treatment.

Buschbaum, 27, finished third at the European Championships in 1998 and 2002.

“I feel as if I am a man and have to live my life in the body of a woman,” Buschbaum said in a statement on her Web site announcing her retirement. “I am aware of the fact that transsexuality is a fringe issue, and I do not want to be responsible for it remaining on the fringe.”

Buschbaum asked for respect for her decision and urged observers “not to draw false conclusions.”

“I do not dope,” she said, adding that her “upcoming hormone treatment” contributed to her decision to quit, as did a persistent injury.

Anyone else note the irony in Buschbaum being a ‘pole’ vaulter.

Good luck to Yvonne or whatever name she takes in the future.

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