Dutch thrower Ria Stalman has admitted doping during her career ©Wikipedia

Dutch discus champion Ria Stalman has admitted doping during her career, including ahead of winning the gold medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.

The 64-year-old, who retired from the sport soon after her Olympic triumph, revealed she used drugs in order to match rivals who, she claims, were also using similar products.

"During the final two years of my career, I daily used a light dosage of anabolic steroids," she told Dutch public broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting.

"I wanted to beat them badly.

"I then thought: the only way was that if you can't beat them, join them."

This supposedly came only at the end of a decade-long career in which she won 15 discus and shot put golds at various editions of the Dutch National Championships.

She won gold in Los Angeles with a mark of 65.36 metres, but had set a personal best of 71.22 shortly before the Games.

This remains the Dutch record today and makes her the 17th longest thrower of all time.

She was also named The Netherlands' Sportswoman of the Year in 1984.

Ria Stalman is the 17th longest thrower of all-time behind East German world record holder Gabriele Reinsch (right) ©Wikipedia
Ria Stalman is the 17th longest thrower of all-time behind East German world record holder Gabriele Reinsch (right) ©Wikipedia

It is not completely clear why she has decided to come clean more than three decades after the Games, except that the admission "gives her some relief" and will, she hopes, finally draw a line on the issue.

It appears unlikely she will be stripped of her gold medal, because the 10 year Statute of Limitations on doping cases has long passed. 

Silver in LA went to home favourite Leslie Deniz while Romania's Florența Crăciunescu took bronze.

The revelation comes as the sport of athletics faces fresh allegations of doping after the World Anti-Doping Agency's Independent Commission published allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia.

There are still many suspicions about performances from earlier periods, including the 1980s.

With the exception of 13th ranked Xiao Yanling of China, every woman above Stalman on the all-time discus list is from an ex-Soviet bloc country, with all having set their best mark between 1980 and 1992.

Many of these throwers were absent from Los Angeles 1984 due to the Soviet Union-led boycotts.

East German world record holder Gabriele Reinsch set her best mark of 76.80 in Neubrandenburg in 1988, nearly six metres further than the best throw of the 21st century.

She has never admitted cheating despite many suspicions given the revelations about state sponsored doping in East Germany in the 1970s and 1980s.