THE SIDELINES : Nurmi’s Drug Use in ‘20s Noted

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

Paavo Nurmi, winner of 10 Olympic gold medals in the 1920s, used a drug containing the male hormone testosterone to boost his performance, a Swedish newspaper said today.

The National daily Dagens Nyheter published a 1931 advertisement from a Swedish sports daily, Idrottsbladet, in which Nurmi and three Swedish athletes of the time recommended the drug Rejuven.

“In using Rejuven I have been astounded by its vitalizing effect on the body,” said the advertisement text signed by Nurmi and accompanied by a picture of the Finnish middle- and long-distance runner.

Dagens Nyheter quoted Swedish pharmacologists as saying that Rejuven was a German drug containing testosterone. The drug no longer exists.


Testosterone is the key substance in muscle-building anabolic steroids which are banned under the anti-doping rules of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).