Doctors had discovered that pregnant women could gain an advantage in muscle power, suppleness and lung capacity, because they produced more red blood cells. In 1994 Olga Kovalenko, a gold medal winner at the 1968 Olympics, told a German television interviewer that all the members of the Soviet women’s gymnastic team, two of whom were 15 at the time, had been forced to become pregnant before the Olympics: if they did not have a husband or boyfriend, they were made to have sex with a male coach.
Anyone who refused was thrown off the team. After 10 weeks of pregnancy every gymnast had an abortion. They won the team gold medal by a fraction of a point, with Czechoslovakia second. “In any other country it would have been called rape,” one of the Soviet coaches admitted later.
Compared to the other things it’s almost trivial. But Jeebus.