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Former GDR Coaches Investigated -- October 8, 1997

BERLIN, GERMANY - Two swim coaches are suspected of administering drugs to minors as part of a criminal investigation into drug use in East German sports. Dieter Lindemann and Volker Frischke were hired by the German national team after unification and were recently withdrawn from their coaching positions while training in Spain. Ruediger Tretow, the head of the German swimming federation, said he plans to meet with them to discuss their future with the team. Both men deny the accusations. Lindemann, former coach of Olympic medalist Franziska van Almsick and currently training Steffen Zesner, had reportedly been accused of giving steroids to young female swimmers in the 1980s. Frischke, coach of European champion Kerstin Kielgass, also was reportedly accused by three former East German swimmers of starting them on drugs when they were 13. Steroids were given to promising athletes in their early teens without their knowledge or consent, investigators say. Many of the former athletes are now suffering from liver and kidney ailments. Some women have encountered reproductive problems and some men have developed female-like breasts.