onsdag 8 april 2009

German doping ruling angers victims and others

Hamburg - A decision by Germany's umbrella sports organization and Olympic Committee DOSB to allow five former East German athletics coaches to continue on their jobs despite doping confessions drew harsh reactions from victims and others on Tuesday. The five coaches - Klaus Baarck, Gerhard Boettcher, Rainer Pottel, Maria Ritschel and Klaus Schneider - on Monday admitted in a statement issued by the DOSB to their involvement in the state-run doping system of the former communist state.
"We knew we were breaking sports rules. But we felt legitimized by the orders of the state," they said.
The coaches said that refusal to give athletes forbidden substances would have put them into trouble with the authorities. They also said they regretted their action.
Ines Gneipel, a former East German sprinter and victim of the doping system, named the DOSB decision "a political perversion" and said it discredited the victims.
German scientist and anti-doping activist Werner Franke said the DOSB wanted to make the East's doping forgotten. Winfried Hermann from the Green Party said the interior ministry, which is responsible for sports, turned a blind eye when the coaches were taken over in the early 1990s.
The DOSB said that the coaches have supported doping-free sports ever since working for the unified athletics body DLV, and interior minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it was time for reconciliation almost 19 years after german reunification.
Victims of the East German doping system have received compensation from the state in recent years.
But the doping issue continues to simmer in German sports, with biathlon's Frank Ullrich the latest coach accused of giving athletes forbidden substances. Ullrich has protested his innocence.

Posted on : 2009-04-07 | Author : DPA
News Category : Sports

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