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SBD Global/August 6, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

German National Institute For Sports Science Releases Report Into Country's Doping Past

A report on doping in German sport since the '50s, "kept under wraps for months, was released on Monday and highlighted details of systematic use of banned substances over decades," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. The report "describes West Germany as organising and experimenting with doping in sports since the 1950s, much like its East German neighbour, using sports politics and medicine to support the research." It also "raises questions about whether some German footballers 'towards the end' of the 1966 World Cup in England were clean as, citing a FIFA document from the same year, three players showed traces of ephedrine." Ephedrine "is used as a decongestant but also as a stimulant." Commissioned by the Federal Institute and prepared by Berlin's Humboldt University and the University of Muenster, the report into German doping said that "athletes of many sports were knowingly given performance-enhancing substances." Interior Ministry spokesperson Philipp Spauschus said, "The Interior Ministry has a strong interest in a complete clarification and assessment of the history of doping." The report said that by the '70s at the latest, West Germany "was actively involved in experimenting with performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids, testosterone, amphetamines and EPO, financed by taxpayers' money." The report also said that "doping was not limited to one or two sports but many different athletes had used banned substances, with football players being given amphetamine, or 'fighter pilot chocolate,' as early as 1949" (REUTERS, 8/5).

CRITICAL RESPONSE: In Munich, Boris Herrmann wrote the report was "significantly cut from more than 800 pages," and the released version "excluded a number of eyewitness accounts as well as the names of influential politicians." The released version, which is dated April 30 and titled final report, "has a total of 117 pages whereas the version obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung, which is a couple months older and also titled final report, has 804 pages" (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 8/5). German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) President Thomas Bach said in a statement, "This a good day for the fight against doping. We welcome the publication of the study which I have initiated with DOSB. We have appointed an independent commission with a former judge of the constitutional court, Udo Steiner, as chairperson. This commission will now evaluate the report and give recommendations with regard to the tasks as well as about the future improvements of the fight against doping" (DOSB).
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