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Thursday 05, Mar 2015

  Germany Football Coach Caught Up In 70s And 80s Doping Scandal

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Joachim Löw, the current manager of the German national football team who led the German team to victory at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil against Argentina, has distanced himself from doping allegations.

An evaluation commission from Freiburg’s sport medicine clinic recently claimed that anabolic steroids were used at VfB Stuttgart and SC Freiburg, Bundesliga clubs during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The present Germany’s World Cup-winning coach was a part of both these clubs. Löw played in midfield for Freiburg from 1978-80 and from 1982-84 and spent the 1980/81 season at Stuttgart, whom he later coached.

The former football midfielder said doping has no place in sport and he completely disapproves of it and that is as true for him as a player as it still is today as the national coach.

Stuttgart, who is currently bottom of the table, said they will cooperate fully with the investigation but asked for a full copy of the commission’s report to retrace the evidence. Stuttgart’s director of sport Robin Dutt told Sky Sports said it is hard for us to give out any information because we don’t have any facts at hand and it happened well before our time. Dutt added nevertheless, we want to give a water-tight explanation, because we are interested in clean sport and also remarked there is regular drug testing in professional football and it appears there are no irregular findings.

Freiburg said they will also support an investigation and remarked they are also waiting to see “detailed results or a full report”. The club spoke strongly against the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, the former Bayern Munich and Switzerland coach who played for Stuttgart from 1975-78, said he is totally surprised by these reports and added he can’t imagine that one of his teammates knowingly doped.

Wilhelm Schänzer, the director of the prestigious Cologne Institute of Biochemistry, said football does not currently have a doping problem like other sports which are constantly caught up in cases involving the use of banned substances. Schänzer added there is absolutely nothing that points to it being a problem in German football while referring to the accusations about the use of anabolic steroids by Freiburg and Stuttgart during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Hans-Jurgen Sundermann, Stuttgart’s coach from 1976-79 and 1980-82, said findings of the report are absurd and he cannot imagine that happening and can entirely rule it out. Rainer Koch, chairman of the German Football Association’s (DFB) anti-doping commission, said he was concerned that the commission had not been informed beforehand. Koch remarked there have been serious allegations made which obviously must be completely cleared up and went on to add that it is strange however that the anti-doping commission has not previously been informed. He also said the commission’s findings are new to us and we have seen neither the results nor the report, therefore we can’t comment and also remarked that we must see a detailed report in order to assess the matter seriously.

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Thursday 11, Dec 2014

  WADA Not Supportive Of Jail Term For Doping Cheats

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WADA Not Supportive Of Jail Term For Doping Cheats

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has remarked that it does not support the imposition of criminal sanctions on cheating athletes despite it in the favor of a tougher code that will come into effect on January 1 next year.

The new WADA Code will punish first-time offenders with four-year bans instead of two years of suspension. It also puts a greater emphasis on investigation and gathering intelligence.

Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President and former chairman of the British Olympic Association, made this comment after a three-year sentence for doping offenders was proposed by a draft German law. Reedie said dopers should only be sanctioned within the rules of their sport and added a custodial sentence is not appropriate. He remarked an athlete should be sanctioned under the sports rules which have been developed over many years and he should not be sanctioned under Criminal Law.

Reedie, speaking at a members’ meeting, also insisted that the World Anti-Doping Agency is working closely with the Brazilian anti-doping organization to make sure that the quality of tests at Rio 2016 are adequate. Reedie said it is important that we have the laboratory in Rio re-accredited so it doesn’t make any mistakes. The WADA President added it made some mistakes, which is why it lost its accreditation and added but nothing would be worse for athletes than to take part in the competition when they knew there was any question of wrong results from a laboratory that we used to test the samples. Last year, the credentials of the drug-testing laboratory in Rio de Janeiro were revoked by WADA as it failed to comply with the agency’s standards. The revocation forced FIFA, the world governing body of football, to turn to a Switzerland lab for the analysis of the 2014 World Cup samples.

It was also announced by WADA that pledges for the creation of an anti-doping research fund reached more than US$10 million (S$13 million) that match the financial investment made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). WADA announced pledges from the Ivory Coast, Japan, Qatar, Russia, France, Sweden and Peru, joining Turkey, South Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United States. These countries were named by WADA as donors for its research fund that will be beneficial for exploring new techniques for the detection of prohibited substances and methods. Therefore, the joint project will have a budget of about US$20 million.

Reedie also commented on the growing incidents of doping in Kenya. The African country has experienced a dramatic increase in doping cases. This year, Rita Jeptoo was among the high-profile cheats. The Kenyan marathon runner tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), which is used by strength athletes and cyclists to improve the production of red blood cells in the body. Reedie said WADA officials recently met their Kenyan counterparts to help them establish the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya with Chinese and Norwegian agencies providing technical training and guidance. Reedie also commented that Kenya produces many of the very best middle- and long-distance runners in the world and it is very much in Kenya’s interest to have this treated properly.

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