A German report into the country’s use of banned substances in sport since 1950 has triggered a storm and renewed calls for a national anti-doping law. The report highlights systematic doping across many sports over decades in West Germany, resembling the state-run doping programme in East Germany during the Cold War.
“We need a doping law in this country,” said Clemens Prokop, head of Germany’s athletics federation “We also need to extend the statute of limitation (for sanctions) against doping offenders past the current eight years.”
The report was commissioned by the Federal Institute for Sports Science at the request of the German Olympic Sports Confederation. It was published under pressure on Monday, following a leak in the media at the weekend, after it had been kept under wraps for months.
It includes details of how by the 1970s at the latest, West Germany was actively involved in experimenting with performance-enhancing drugs financed by taxpayers’ money.
Names were not included in the version made public on Monday, an omission objected to by many athletes, officials and politicians. “(The long version) should be published right now. Names have to be named so that the general suspicion regarding athletes in the 70s and 80s who got their performances legally and now are treated with doubt is lifted,” Prokop said.
The report, which said that footballers were being given amp-hetamines, or “fighter pilot chocolate”, as early as 1949, also raised questions about whether some footballers were taking drugs at the 1966 World Cup because, citing a FIFA document from the same year, three players showed traces of ephedrine. A controversial injection was distributed widely to West German athletes during Montreal 1976, it added.