By Duncan Mackay

Thomas Bach head and shouldersAugust 4 - Thomas Bach, head of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the leading candidate to become next President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has claimed it is important research is carried out to find out as much as possible about the the country's doping history.

An unpublished report by researchers, part of which has appeared in Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, claims West Germany's athletes were systematically doped with Government backing from the 1970s, and possibly earlier.

The 800-page report titled "Doping in Germany from 1950 to today" quoted one unnamed West German Interior Minister saying at the time: "Our athletes should have the same conditions and services as the Eastern bloc athletes."

The report has been compiled by researchers at Berlin's Humboldt University on behalf of the DOSB, with Giselher Spitzer, a well-known German sports historian, as the project leader.

It was completed in April, but has yet to be published because of privacy concerns and legal issues over naming athletes, doctors and politicians.

Doping was widespread in a number of sports, from athletics to football.

Just how widespread and costly the doping programme was is not yet known, according to the report, however the Federal Institute of Sport Science (BISp) did provide funding for research, with facilities in Freiburg, Cologne and Saarbrücken.

The report claims that for years the state financed experiments with performance-enhancing substances, including anabolic steroids.

Germany 1954 World Cup teamWest Germany's team that won the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland allegedly received injections of speed to help them, according to a new report commissioned by the DOSB

It claims an unspecified number of footballers in the 1954 World Cup-winning team in Switzerland received injections of the methamphetamine Pervitin, commonly known today as speed, according to Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

West Germany beat Hungary 3-2 in the final having lost 8-3 to them earlier in the tournament. 

The victory became known as the "The Miracle of Bern" as the Hungarians were considered to be the greatest team in history and was the subject of a popular film in 2003. 

The historians also uncovered a letter dated November 29, 1966, in which FIFA Medical Committee chairman Mihailo Andrejevic wrote of "very fine traces" of the banned stimulant ephedrine found in three unnamed German players at the 1966 World Cup, where West Germany were beaten 4-2 in the final by England. 

The report states that minors were also doped.

Women and children were not supposed to be given anabolic steroids due to uncertainty over the long-term effects, but researchers say the advice made little difference.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung claimed that German athletes received around 1,200 injections of Berolase and thioctacid at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

They were not banned at the time and were supposed to improve performance but their effects had been untested.

It became known as the Kolbe syringe after rower Peter-Michael Kolbe, who looked to be heading for gold in the single sculls only to slump toward the end of his race with Pertti Karppinen to allow the Finn to overtake.

Peter-Michael Kolbe Montreal 1976Peter-Michael Kolbe (left) is suspected to have missed out on the gold medal at the 1976 Olympics to Finland's Pertti Karppinen because he had was given a drug that was untested

The report was commissioned in 2008 by Bach, who won an Olympic fencing gold medal at Montreal 1976 in the team foil event.

West Germany won a total of 39 medals at those Games in Canada, including 10 gold, to finish fourth overall.

But they were a long way behind East Germany, who were second overall behind the Soviet Union, with a total of 90 medals, 40 of them gold.

"I took the initiative for this study soon after the DOSB was founded," said Bach, one of six candidates to replace Jacques Rogge as IOC President.

"We wanted to have clarification about the doping history in Germany.

"Finding out about our heritage is essential for our zero tolerance policy against doping.

"A lot of this information is not new and was already published before by other scientists.

"We look forward to receiving the final report of the research and will take the necessary consequences after a careful study.

"In order to ensure full transparency we would welcome the publication of this final report."

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