If you can't beat 'em, have a sex-change

'When caught using drugs, athletes have three options, all forms of denial. What they never do is own up'
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The Independent Online

Today we bring you a brand-new feature - an Olympic helpline! Whether you are an ordinary television viewer, a British yachtsman or simply a Romanian athlete who has been stripped of her medal and put on the first plane back to Budapest, all your problems will be dealt with sympathetically by the world's first full-time Olympic agony aunt, Stefan Nandrolone. All yours, Stefan!

Today we bring you a brand-new feature - an Olympic helpline! Whether you are an ordinary television viewer, a British yachtsman or simply a Romanian athlete who has been stripped of her medal and put on the first plane back to Budapest, all your problems will be dealt with sympathetically by the world's first full-time Olympic agony aunt, Stefan Nandrolone. All yours, Stefan!

Dear Aunty Stefan, Why would a Romanian athlete who has tested positive for drugs and been stripped of her title be flown back to Budapest? The capital of Romania is Bucharest, not Budapest.

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: Because she would not be too sure of her reception in Romania, of course. It might be safer to go to Hungary instead.

Dear Aunty Stefan, Yes, but does involvement in drugs automatically lead to unpopularity? Linford Christie recently tested positive for drug use, yet nobody seems to have changed their attitude to him.

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: Well, that's not quite true. When Carl Lewis heard that Christie had been found guilty of drug use, he reportedly said: "So they got him at last!"

Dear Aunty Stefan: That's true. But it's not exactly a change of attitude. Carl Lewis obviously felt like that all along. What I mean is that, even if convicted of drug use, athletes are not generally seen as villains. More as victims, actually. Why is that?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: When found out, athletes have three courses of action, all forms of denial. They deny the whole thing utterly, they claim that it was all caused by a cold cure, or they blame it on a vitamin supplement. What they never do is own up.

Dear Aunty Stefan, I cannot help noticing that your surname, Nandrolone, is the same as one of the banned Olympic drugs. Is there a reason for that?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: Yes. I have changed my name by deed poll from Yukovich, at the behest of my sponsors, Nandrolone. The makers of banned substances such as Nandrolone are victimised not just by the ban but by being unable to sponsor athletes. By changing my name, I have allowed a little bit of honesty to creep in.

Dear Aunty Stefan, Is Stefan also your real name?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: No. As an Olympic athlete, I jumped under the name Katya Yukovich, but I changed my name to Stefan when I changed sex and became a man.

Dear Aunty Stefan, Had you always felt you were a man in a woman's body?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: No, but I had always felt that I would be able to jump further with a man's body.

Dear Aunty Stefan: And could you?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: Yes, miles further. Unfortunately I was now jumping against other men, not women, so I did no better than before.

Dear Aunty Stefan, Which country did you jump for?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: Well, I started off as a Bulgarian jumper when I was a woman, but there were so many good Bulgarian jumpers when I became a man, that I changed nationality to one of the Gulf states and jumped for them.

Dear Aunty Stefan, Are you allowed to compete for another country, having competed for a previous one?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: Yes, especially if you change sex. I have to say that I was very glad to change sex, because being a woman athlete in most Arab states is very inconvenient. For a start, as a woman you cannot go out alone, so you have to take your mother and sisters on training runs. For another thing, you have to cover your entire body in flowing robes, which is constricting. Especially in the long jump. Although I have known some Arab women to do tremendously long jumps in robes, with a following wind, because the wind catches them like a parachute.

Dear Aunty Stefan, How has your life in athletics left you feeling?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: Perpetually depressed, neurotic, unfulfilled, unsure of my identity or even my gender, and also physically suffering from the long-term effects of all the steroids and drugs I took. But it was a wonderful life, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world, as I made friends with some very wonderful people.

Dear Aunty Stefan: Who were they?

Aunty Stefan Nandrolone writes: Pharmacists and lab technicians, mostly.

Olympic agony aunt Stefan Nandrolone will be back soon to talk to you about more of her personal problems

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