Whereas Germany is today a nation reunified which remains among the five top sporting squads in the world, before the fall of the Berlin Wall it was a divided country where winning was a weapon in the ideological war pitting the Communist regime against the West.In both athletics and swimming, East-German sportswomen dominated competition over three decades from 1960 onwards. Today, their questionable preparation methods have been widely criticised. It is now established that their preparation was based on mass doping. Many athletes today suffer from liver disorders, cancer or cardiac problems.Two former East German sporting officials were recently convicted for putting into place a system which allowed a small country of 17 million inhabitants to collect almost 200 gold medals. Nonetheless, both eastern and western German athletes are still formidable opponents. Besides athletics and swimming, Germany also performs well in cycling, horse jumping and nautical sports, particularly canoeing and sailing.The country organised the 1936 games at Berlin and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the 1972 Munich games.