Report Into Doping By West Germany Athletes Released

The interior ministry of Germany has published details from a report that revealed the extent to which the government of West Germany backed the doping of athletes in the 1970s.

The move came under swift criticism from the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that first published details of the document. The newspaper said the report on doping had been significantly cut from more than 800 pages and the new version of six documents excluded a number of eyewitness accounts as well as the names of influential politicians. Publication of the report, Doping in Germany from 1950 to Today, was held back due to data protection concerns.

Now, the interior ministry of Germany has suggested that the documents under the heading of the project were put online. It was also revealed by the ministry that the purpose of the research was to take an in-depth look at the history of doping and not to look into individual incidences or expose doping scandals of uncover statutory offences.

Recently, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that doping of West German athletes during the 1970s was conducted over a period of decades and was state funded. The newspaper disclosed that athletes were doped with anabolic steroids, testosterone, and estrogen and doping research was facilitated with the Federal institute of sport science investing almost £4.5m in medicine research facilities in Freiburg, Cologne, and Saarbrücken.

This report on doping was carried out by researchers at Humboldt University in Berlin and the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster. It detailed doping of football players and the list included three members of the 1966 West Germany World Cup final team who lost to England at Wembley. The newspaper also provided reference of a letter from FIFA official Mihailo Andrejevic who informed the German Athletic Association president, Max Danz, about the “fine traces” of the banned stimulant ephedrine discovered.

It should not be a surprise to people that West German athletes were doped, Andreas Singler, a sports scientist and member of the Evaluation Commission of Freiburg Sport Medicine, whose research was cited as part of the report. Singler added it has been well-known for a long time though he disputed that the government of the time was responsible. He added that it supported the research about the effects and side effects of the drugs but that doesn’t mean it was necessarily with the aim of doing doping and remarked that he thinks the misuse potential was very high and there was a hope from some in the government, not from the ministry itself, but the specialists for sports issues. Andreas Singler also said he thinks they perhaps expected conditions that made it possible to have a chance to win, not only against the East Germans, but also the United States.

Clemens Prokop, head of Germany’s athletics federation, said we need a doping law and need to extend the statute of limitation for sanctions against doping offenders past the current eight years. Carlo Thraenhardt, the former European indoor high-jump champion who competed for West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, said of the report that he is surprised and frustrated because you want to fight doping.

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