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Luanne Freer: “Doping on Everest not talked about openly”

Luanne Freer (©

Luanne Freer (©

“Never open your mouth, unless you’re in the dentist’s chair.” These were the words Salvatore Gravano called “Sammy the Bull”, a mafioso from New York, used to describe the “Omerta”: the unwritten law of the underworld to be silent no matter what happens. Even athletes using doping substances usually say nothing unless they are found to be guilty. In this respect, mountaineering is not an “island of bliss”. Anyone who has ever been on expedition has probably met some climbers who carelessly use medicine that actually should be used in case of emergency – or even performance enhancers. Just nobody of these climbers admits to do so. Luanne Freer is the “Everest doctor”. For twelve years, she has treated climbers in “Everest ER”, the emergency room at the Base Camp on the Nepalese side of the highest mountain on earth. I asked the 57-year-old about her experiences on the topic of doping on Mount Everest.

Luanne, in 2003 you founded “Everest ER”, the highest infirmary in the world. Since then, you have spent many climbing seasons in Base Camp. How widespread is doping among Everest aspirants?


9. December 2015 | 17:10



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