BERLIN: The newspaper which ‘broke’ a sensational report into long-term doping in German sport has claimed that 600 pages have been withheld from the version published on Monday writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The report, which has convulsed German sport, was released only after being leaked to the newspaper out of frustration that it had been ‘put on ice’ by embarrassed politicians.

Last Saturday the Suddeutsche Zeitung revealed the existence and significant content of the research commissioned from Berlin’s Humboldt University and the University of Münster in 2008 by the Federal Institute of Sport Science (BISp) and the German Olympic sports federation (DOSB).

Remarkably the report’s main thrust is that the Interior Ministry and the BISp themselves had sponsored and financed a programme of ‘systematic doping’ and allied research throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Legal concerns

A draft report was completed in spring of last year. Publication was then scheduled for this past March 31 but, according to newspaper, was put back because of opposition from within the Ministry or the BISp.

The Ministry agreed to report on the study results to Bundestag’s parliamentary sports committee but all that happened was that it stalled again over concerns about legal liability, defamation and data protection.

The next step was publication by SZ which has remained coy about its source but is assumed to be a person or persons within either the universities or the Ministry.

A political, media and public outcry over the weekend then pushed Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich to order the BISp to publish.


Late on Monday afternoon it released six research reports via the internet. These comprised three comparatively straightforward studies from the University of Münster, summaries of the work undertaken by the two universities and an administrative report from the Humboldt.

SZ compared the ‘final report’ in its possession with the published version and reported: “The version in our possession has 804 pages. The Humboldt University has shortened its own report at the direction of BISp . . . the [published] version is missing about 680 pages. Numerous vivid eyewitness accounts are not included. Missing, for example, are names of some prominent politicians.”

Asked for clarification, the BISp told the the newspaper that that Humboldt researchers were free to publish their report. However it would not indemnify them against possible legal repercussions.