Berlin, Germany – The former head of East Germany’s swimming federation and two coaches were given suspended jail terms by a Berlin court on Wednesday for their participation in the communist state’s systematic doping policy.
Former German Swimming Sport Federation (DSSV) general secretary Egon Mueller, DSSV head coach Wolfgang Richter and women’s coach Juergen Tanneberger were each sentenced to a suspended one-year jail term and fined 5,000 marks ($2,577).
Doctors and coaches have been tried already but Mueller was the first top GDR official to go to court. The 73-year-old Mueller and the two coaches stood accused of causing bodily harm to female swimmers, some underaged, by giving them anabolic steroids between 1975 and 1989.
Prosecutors said the swimmers, some of whom still suffered from gynaecological disorders, were not informed that they were being given performance-enhancing drugs.
Mueller was involved in 67 cases, Richter in 62 and Tanneberger in 48, prosecutors added. All three admitted the charges, lawyers said. Tanneberger was the only one of the defendants to express regret in court, saying he was sorry if he had harmed the swimmers.