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East German Officials Confirm Drug Use

East German officials, acknowledging doping cases at home for the first time, said Wednesday that 14 athletes had been caught using banned substances, newspapers reported.

Reporting on an unprecedented visit to East Germany’s Kreischa doping laboratory near Dresden, newspapers said that 14 positive results had been returned by unnamed East German athletes last year in testing at domestic events or in spot checks during training.

The report contrasted with outraged denials five months ago, when a defector alleged that star athletes were routinely using drugs to enhance their performances.

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There was no implication that this was the case, but it was the first time East Germany had publicly conceded any of its athletes had been caught using drugs.

Shotputter Ilona Slupianek and cyclist Norbert Duerpisch tested positive for drug use in overseas events in 1977 and 1978, respectively.

Junge Welt, the official publication of the nation’s Communist Youth organization, said that the sports federation intended to reverse policy next year and name offenders as a part of a drive to promote drug-free sports.

Kreischa, off limits for many years even to East German reporters, is one of 19 laboratories around the world approved by the International Olympic Committee, although the laboratory tends to concentrate on testing its own nationals.

Figures in Junge Welt showed that Kreischa conducted 4,463 tests last year, one-tenth of the world total, and that there were 19 positive results, 14 of them East German.

Journalist Voker Kluge, who has hinted previously at doping cases, said officials had previously preferred to punish offenders quietly rather than disgrace them publicly.


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