Football Football

Loew distances himself from doping allegations


LEOW-MARACANABERLIN, March 3- Germany’s World Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew on Tuesday distanced himself from allegations of doping levelled at his former clubs Freiburg and Stuttgart.

On Monday, an evaluation commission from Freiburg’s sport medicine clinic claimed anabolic steroids were used at the Bundesliga clubs during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“Doping has no place in sport, I completely disapprove of it, that is as true for me as a player as it still is today as the national coach,” Loew told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

Germany’s head coach played in midfield for Freiburg from 1978-80, then again from 1982-84, while he spent the 1980/81 season at Stuttgart, whom he later coached.

Having won the 1984 Bundesliga title, Stuttgart, who are currently bottom of the table, say they will co-operate with any investigation, but want a full copy of the commission’s report to retrace the evidence.

“For us, it is hard to give out any information because we don’t have any facts at hand and it happened well before our time,” Stuttgart’s director of sport Robin Dutt told Sky Sports.

“Nevertheless, we want to give a water-tight explanation, because we are interested in clean sport.

“In professional football, there is regular drugs testing and it appears there are no irregular findings.

“Therefore I strongly believe that in football we have a clean sport across the board.”

Freiburg, who were in the second division during the period stipulated, say they will also support an investigation.

The club spoke out against the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but said they are also waiting to see “detailed results or a full report”.

Former Bayern Munich and Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, who played for Stuttgart from 1975-78, told broadcaster Sport1: “I am totally surprised by these reports. I can’t imagine that one of my teammates knowingly doped.”

And Hans-Jurgen Sundermann, Stuttgart’s coach from 1976-79 and 1980-82, told SID, an AFP subsidiary: “That’s absurd. I can’t imagine that happening and can entirely rule it out.”

Rainer Koch, chairman of the German Football Association’S (DFB) anti-doping commission, said he was concerned that they had not been informed beforehand.

“There have been serious allegations made which obviously must be completely cleared up,” he said.

“It is strange however that the anti-doping commission has not previously been informed.

“The commission’s findings are new to us and we have seen neither the results nor the report, therefore we can’t comment.

“In order to assess the matter seriously, we must see a detailed report.”