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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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Sunday 26, May 2013

  Harsher Global Doping Code Planned By WADA

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Harsher Global Doping Code Planned By WADA/strong>

Top officials of the World Anti-Doping Agency are honing a new global code that includes doubling suspensions for some drug cheats. The executive committee and foundation board of the anti-doping agency recently met in Montreal for reviewing the third draft of the proposed 2015 World Anti-Doping code that will come up for approval at the November 12-15 World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg.

Last November, the anti-doping agency revealed that it has plans to increase bans for serious violations from two years to four years and its president, John Fahey, said the final revision was intended to make the code shorter and sharper. Fahey remarked the World Anti-Doping Agency had received almost 4,000 individual comments about the code since starting the review in November 2011. The updates follow a two-year consultation process, which ended in March. WADA received a total of 174 submissions, which were revised to create a new version of the international code.

In a WADA statement, Fahey remarked WADA values the input of these stakeholders and is pleased with the level of their engagement throughout the review process and added that WADA continually seeks to enhance the framework that supports the anti-doping system, and revisions depend on these contributions.

Presently, athletes found guilty of a first major doping offense are handed a ban of two years with any subsequent positive test incurring a life-ban. The longer ban would be introduced for offenses that include the use of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents and trafficking, according to a second draft of the 2015 WADA code that was reviewed. Fahey said there is a strong desire in the world of sport, from governments and within the anti-doping community to strengthen the sanction articles in the code and this second draft has done that, doubling the length of suspension for serious offenders and widening the scope for anti-doping organizations to impose lifetime bans.

The proposed new code also defines punishments in cases involving coaches and other athletic support staff among other amendments with an emphasis on testing and investigations along with the longer sanctions for athletes caught using prohibited performance-enhancing substances. Fahey remarked quality WADA-approved testing programs are needed to ensure that testing is effective and that sophisticated cheaters are found, which will ultimately advance the fight against doping in sport. He also remarked the agency heard a strong demand from athletes to strengthen the consequences for those who intentionally set out to get an advantage by doping and added we are in the business to protect the overwhelming majority of clean athletes around the world and the way you protect clean athletes and support them is to deal properly and effectively with the cheats.

The new code is expected to come into effect in 2015.

The agency also decided to immediately implement a modification to increase the threshold level for marijuana to ensure that athletes using the substance in competition will be detected. The Kenyan government was also urged by the Athlete Committee to put in place an independent inquiry to investigate the doping allegations involving some Kenyan athletes.

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