Report reveals German football team linked with doping in 1970s and ‘80s

The sun is reflected on the FIFA logo in front of the FIFA headquarters in Zurich in this May 29, 2011, file photo. — Reuters pic
The sun is reflected on the FIFA logo in front of the FIFA headquarters in Zurich in this May 29, 2011, file photo. — Reuters pic

BERLIN, March 3 — At least two German professional football teams, including former champions VfB Stuttgart, were using banned substances in the 1970s and ‘80s, according to a report yesterday.

In a statement issued by the evaluation commission in charge of reviewing doping claims involving Freiburg University, investigators said there was proof footballers at Stuttgart and second division club Freiburg were doping.

It said documents released to the commission and dating back to a court case involving the then University clinic’s sports trauma unit chief Armin Kluemper in 1984-1989 revealed the new information.

This is the first such case involving German football.

The commission is reviewing claims that the university was involved in widespread doping in German sport in the past.

“Systematic use of anabolics doping based on new evidence can now be proven for the first time in German professional football,” the commission said in a statement on the findings in its interim report.

“Those affected by it in the late 1970s and early 1980s to a great extend were Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart and second division club Freiburg,” it said.

However, it was not possible to say which specific athletes had taken banned substances.

Stuttgart issued a statement saying it could not comment directly on the allegations because it had not seen the report.

“For that reason Stuttgart cannot say on what the allegations are based and whether they are correct or not.

“The evaluation commission’s timespan is now several decades in the past so it is difficult for Stuttgart to retrace specific incidents that involved external doctors.

“It is important to stress that Professor Kluember was never a doctor of VfB Stuttgart. VfB Stuttgart is interested that full light is shed on this case as it supports clean sport.”

Freiburg were not immediately available to comment.

The commission, which has yet to decide whether to publish the interim report, also said there was “across-the-board” anabolic steroid doping between 1975 and 1980 in German cycling that could potentially have included minor-aged athletes.

The sport of cycling has been tarnished internationally for years with many of its top riders either caught doping or admitting using banned substances, including Germany’s Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich. — AFP 

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