tisdag 7 april 2009

German coaches acknowledge doping

FRANKFURT -- Five track and field coaches who have acknowledged their doping past in the former East Germany will continue to work for the German federation.
Klaus Baarck, Gerhard Boettcher, Rainer Pottel, Maria Ritschel and Klaus Schneider signed a statement admitting that they had been involved in the comprehensive state-run doping system in the former communist state.
"We knew we were breaking sports rules but we felt legitimized by the orders of the state," the five said in the statement released Monday by the German Olympic Sports Union.
Refusal to give athletes the doping substances would have meant "ouster from sports and considerable professional disadvantages," they said.
The five said they were "deeply touched and regretful" about the health damages suffered by many athletes who took performance-enhancing drugs.
"After 20 years, it's time for reconciliation between the victims and the offenders," said German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose responsibilities include sports.
He said Monday there had been doping in both German states and "we should not be pointing the finger at the other side."

Associated Press

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