• Drugs in Sport

Did West Germany cheat in the 1966 World Cup?

ESPN staff
August 6, 2013
England and West Germany players line up before the World Cup final in 1966 © AP

German sport has been rocked by claims that doping was widespread for decades, with allegations that several World Cup sides benefited from illegal substances.

A report entitled Doping in Germany from 1950 to Today which was leaked to the German media at the weekend claims the country ran a systematic drug programme that extended to all sports.

The report said that three of the West German side which lost the 1966 World Cup final to England tested positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine. It is possible the substance came from over-the-counter cold remedies.

It is also claimed the World Cup-winning side of 1954 were given injections which they were told were Vitamin C which in fact contained a methamphetamine called pervitin.

The authors of the report say the West German government used public money to fund research into more effective doping in a bid to counter what was happening in Communist block countries.

The publication of the full report has been delayed because of concerns over legal issues.

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