Irina and Tamara Press, Soviet athletes

Irina and Tamara Press, Soviet athletes

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: The Press Sisters. Irina (left) and Tamara Press, Soviet athletes. Irina (1939-2004) was a track athlete who won Olympic gold medals for the 80m sprint (1960) and pentathlon (1964). Tamara (b.1937) won three Olympic gold medals, in the shot put in 1960, and both shot put and discus in 1964. Between them the Press Sisters were dominant in athletics during the 1960s. However, there were constant rumours that they were either men, hermaphrodites or had been treated with male hormones to enhance their performance. Although this was strongly denied by officials, the pair disappeared from the athletics scene when compulsory gender testing was introduced in 1966. Photographed at Moscow in 1960.

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Keywords: 1960, 1960s, 1964, 80, allegation, alleged, athlete, athletics, black, cheating, discus, enhancement, hermaphrodite, horizontal, hormone, irina, male, medal winner, metres, monochrome, novosti, olympic, pentathlon, performance, portrait, press, put, rumour, russia, russian, shot, sisters, soviet, sprint, tamara, transgender, treatment, ukraine, ukrainian, white

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