The athletes of West Germany were systematically doped with government backing from the 1970s, and possibly earlier, according to a report by German researchers.
The report, completed in April this year, was compiled by researchers at Berlin’s Humboldt University on behalf of the German Olympic Sports Confederation. It is yet to be published due to privacy concerns and legal issues over naming athletes, doctors, and politicians.
Details of the 800-page report titled “Doping in Germany From 1950 to Today,” were published by The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper revealing the extent to which politicians of West Germany were reportedly willing to promote the use of drugs among athletes to ensure international success.
The report revealed that drugs like anabolic steroids, testosterone, and estrogen over a period of decade were given to athletes. It was also revealed that the doping practices were state funded through taxes. The concrete costs of the doping program, including research and the extent to which it was carried out, are not clear. However, the researchers suggested that it was known that the federal institute of sport science (BISp), now operating under the interior ministry, invested 10m Deutsch Marks (almost £4.5m) in the central sports medicine facilities in Freiburg, Cologne, and Saarbrücken. It was also disclosed that the West German doping was not carried out in response to doping carried out on athletes in East Germany, but in parallel. A witness was quoted by the The Süddeutsche Zeitung describing how an unnamed interior ministry official from the time said that our athletes should have the same conditions and services as the eastern bloc athletes.
The report detailing the extent to which government-backed doping of West German athletes also mentioned football players who were doped before the 1970s and included three who played during the 1966 World Cup final where England beat West Germany in Wembley 4-2. A letter had been discovered in which FIFA officials said traces of the banned stimulant ephedrine had been found, said the researchers.
A spokesman from the federal interior ministry that is responsible for sport in the country remarked the report was an important contribution to educating about and evaluating doping in both parts of Germany. The spokesman added that the goal of the project was and is an unconditional, in-depth look at the history of doping in Germany during a period of around 60 years, regardless of the people and institutions involved. He also remarked that it is also about the systemization of the phenomenon of doping in Germany during the cold war, during the phase of reunification and beyond to the present day. The spokesman also said the ministry would be working to ensure the report was published as soon as possible. The president of the DOSB, Thomas Bach, said he would welcome the publication of the report and added that finding out about our heritage is essential for our zero policy against doping.
In another development, German opposition politicians have called for the report to be made public after it was revealed it was being held back over privacy concerns.