Your affirmation of the dominance of East German throwers is just not true (at least for men). They had 2 great shot putters, Ulf Timmerman and Udo Beyer… but the US has MORE different throwers in the top 10 best shot put list of all-time. And the best one is by Randy Barnes (23.12 vs. 23.06 for Timmerman).
If you look at the list of the best throws in history (http://www.alltime-athletics.com/mshotok.htm) and count only one throw per thrower (e.g. Barnes has 2 of the best 10 throws but I only count him once). Out of the 10 best throwers of all-time you have:
Where is the East German dominance??? It’s just a romantic notion of Germany having had a secret training program. Remember that we thought the same of their Olympic lifters… but where are they now? Why don’t you see dominant Germans in weightlifting anymore? Did they forget their secret?
And you know what the freakiest thing is? The best potential power athletes in the US are/were not even doing the shot put, they are playing football. Take the best genetics in the NFL and train them for the shot put (or Olympic lifting) from an early age and they would have likely been even better.
In fact I believe that besides drugs, the real secret of the eastern block was NOT training methods but rather the selection process of their athletes. They were master at evaluating the genetic potential of a kid and pick which sport he would excel in. And in communist nations if the state decided that you were gonna be a shot putter, you would become a shot putter, even if you really wanted to play hockey.
One last thing is that back then athletes from the eastern block were professionals supported by the state. Not the case here… in fact until recently Olympic athletes didn’t make much money and had to work full time. A friend of mine competed at the 1982 weightlifting world championships. He had the Canadian record in he clean & jerk in the 82.5kg class with 192.5kg… which was about 25kg under the world’s best… BUT he actually worked full time in a paper mill from 9 to 5 THEN from 6 to 10 he would tend to his gym and when he closed the gym at 10 he would train until 11:30… put that same guy under state support and he would have been a world champ!
And the drug thing is not true either. Back then all the drugs were pharma grade. Nowadays a lot of athletes use underground drugs which are often underdosed or not even the actual product… in fact it is one of the reason why there has been a lot of positive tests for stanozolol recently, athletes likely bought what they tought was anavar (oxandrolone) which is more effective but a lot more expensive than stanozolol but many underground labs use stanozoloil labeled as anavar. But the detection time is not the same for both.
Anyway, East German athletes were on a government sponsored drug program so they all got the best drugs. BTW most of the steroids known today were available back then. Growth hormone was also used in the 80s if you had the $$$ and a state-sponsored program did have the $$$.
I think that the big difference is that the detection time for drugs was much shorter back then. Simply put, athletes could stay on drugs a lot closer to the competitions, as such performances did not decrease as much. Today’s athletes have to stop using drugs much sooner, leading to an erosion of performances.
Take Olympic lifting for example. I remember seeing a Bulgarian weightlifter snatch and clean & jerk 15kg more than he did at the world championships a few weeks later… and he still won the gold medal. Another one clean & jerked 20kg more than he did in competition. And this is actually quite common in weightlifting. If they would have been able to keep using drugs for a month longer (or even more in some cases) they would have turned much better performances… and I think that it is one of the reasons (if not the main reason) for the sometimes superior results of athletes from the 80s.