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West Germany 'sponsored doping'

The findings of a comprehensive doping study by Berlin’s Humboldt University, commissioned by the Federal Institute of Sport Science (BISp) on Monday, suggest a systematic sports doping system by the former West Germany.

Germany celebrate after they won the FIFA World Cup 1954 final match against Hungary.
The report suggests that the 1954 World Cup-winning team used the methamphetamine Pervitin.

The report was published after German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung revealed details from it over the weekend. The paper said the study showed the West German state had sponsored research into performance-enhancing drugs. It said that, by the early 1970s, the programme had become systematic.

BISp, set up under the jurisdiction of the West German ministry of the interior in 1970, is the main target of the report’s allegations.

The report is divided into three periods: 1950–72, 1972–89 and 1989–07, with the main focus being on the first two periods. The document concluded that a detailed analysis of the final period as not possible “due to complexity”.

It said the history of doping in West Germany did not begin with the use of anabolic steroids in the 1960s but in 1949, when the state was founded after the Second World War. Until 1960, amphetamines were “systemically used”.

The findings have raised questions about West German football, revealing that footballers used amphetamines pre-match. It suggests that the 1954 World Cup-winning team used the methamphetamine Pervitin.

Questions are also raised about the 1966 finalists, with a letter from a FIFA official, first revealed in 2011, reporting “fine traces” of Ephedrine, a banned stimulant, being found in three unnamed players during the tournament.  

The report quoteds the long-serving France team doctor, Jean-Marcel Ferret, as saying: "At the 1974 World Cup, the Germans gave infusions to their players. That was a shock for us."

The researchers claimed the German Football Association had complicated access to the archives.

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