SPORT

Investigation Reveals Systematic Doping In West German Sport

06/08/2013 10:07 BST | Updated 06/08/2013 10:09 BST

A university investigation into doping in sport between 1950 and the present day has revealed the extent of alleged systematic doping in West Germany.

Excerpts from the findings of a Berlin Humboldt University and University of Munster joint investigation had been leaked by various German media outlets at the weekend, prompting the German government to make the report accessible to the public today.

The report discusses the use and encouragement of doping in various sports, elucidating not only the consent, but also the financial support the government granted to the subject over a period of time spanning several decades.

west germany doping

West Germany won the 1974 World Cup on home soil

The report, entitled "Doping in Germany from 1950 to today", was published on the website of the Federal Institute for Sports Science (BISp), although the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, which raised the issue in an article at the weekend, claims the publication is incomplete.

It does not mention names of any members of leading politicians or sportspeople which the paper claims to have seen in a much wider investigation it had access to.

According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, 680 pages are missing from the report published on Monday.

Nevertheless, the study does reveal the extent of government-funded doping and its publication has been welcomed by Dagmar Freitag, who heads the government's sports committee.

"I had already written to the Interior Ministry (BMI) asking precisely for this," she told the SID agency.

Under The Needle, but Above Suspicion?

"It has been said for months that this study could not be published due to data protection reasons, then all of a sudden, things turned completely over the weekend.

"This can really only be down to the public clamour. This and the wider discussion have certainly led to this blockade being lifted by the BMI and BISp."

The study, divided into three different periods and carried out by researchers both in Berlin and Munster, reveals the extent of alleged doping and doping experimentation in the then West Germany.

It claims taxpayers' money was spent on financing the research of performance-enhancing products and substances.

west germany doping

West German wrestler Adolf Seger (right) at the 1976 Olympics

It also reveals how one such drug - the Kolbe injection, named after rower Peter-Michael Kolbe - was supposedly administered 1,200 times to West German athletes at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

Doping was also widespread in football, rowing and cycling, according to the study, the results of which "serve to uncover and explain as far as possible the phenomenon of doping, which has been partially obscured, and to bring it into a socio-historical context", stated the report.

"The judgement of individual cases and the systematic effects in the context of time can serve as a foundation for today's evaluation while supporting the elaboration of preventative measures for the future."

The report is certain to spark a debate which the German government is going to have to deal with thoroughly in the run-up to general elections in September.