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'Every One . . . ' : East German Athletes' Use of Drugs Told

June 26, 1989|From Reuters

BONN — A former Olympic champion and a former top sports official from East Germany today accused all of the country's international athletes of taking drugs.

"Every athlete that competes internationally for East Germany is doped, every one," Hans-Juergen Noczenski, former head of the East German Judo Assn., was quoted as saying in the popular West German newspaper Bild.

Noczenski, who defected to the West last February, made the accusation after one of the most detailed pictures of alleged drug abuse in East Germany by 1976 Olympic ski jumping gold medalist Hans-Georg Aschenbach was given in another West German paper.

Aschenbach said that he was forced to take muscle-building anabolic drugs for the whole of his career and that all of the country's stars were obliged to take them.

"We had to take the drugs. We were forced to," he told Bild am Sonntag. "Those who didn't were dropped from the national teams, from their clubs, and life was made difficult for them."

Aschenbach, who defected to the West during a visit with the East German ski jumping team 10 months ago, was not available to confirm the reports today at the sports clinic in Freiburg where he is a doctor.

But his reported statements in a page-long article in Bild am Sonntag are the most controversial on drug abuse in the Eastern Bloc. East German newspapers made no mention of the accusations today.

Aschenbach, 38, said he took drugs in the form of pills and injections for eight years. He was told by East German team officials that the pills were vitamins, but older team mates told him they were drugs.

"We were forbidden to talk to anybody about them; anybody who talked was dropped from the team," he said.

"I had to take 30 to 40 milligrams of nandrolon (made up of various male sex hormones) each day. That was six to eight pills. Ten days before an event we stopped taking the drugs. It took five days to clear them from the body. We used to call it double security."

Noczenski told Bild that East German athletes rarely tested positive for dope because the authorities tested the urine of all athletes before they were allowed to compete abroad.

"A car drove all round East Germany collecting the urine samples. They were tested in a doping center, and only those who were clean were allowed to compete," he said. "Those who weren't were told to say they were injured."

Aschenbach said the drug abuse made his Olympic triumph in Innsbruck the worst few hours of his life.

"I had won gold and then came the dope test. My God, what I had to go through. I kept thinking: 'Will they catch me? Have I done all this for nothing? Am I going to be the idiot that everyone will laugh at?' With all that in your mind you even forget that you have actually won."

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