Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > PED used by Paris terroroists once was scourge of German soccer
November 27, 2015
PED used by Paris terroroists once was scourge of German soccer
The performance-enhancing stimulant recently revealed to have been used by Islamic State fighters and linked to the perpetrators of the Paris terror attacks has a murky history involving the top level of German sports. The active ingredient in Captagon, which was reported by various French media outlets to have been found among the personal effects of the suicide bombers that wreaked havoc in the French capital two weeks ago and is widely distributed among ISIS members in the Middle East, is on the list of substances banned in sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency. However, in the 1970s and ’80s, its use — especially in Germany — was so widespread that leading soccer clubs would openly provide the drug for their players to ingest, according to veteran coach and former player Peter Neururer. “A long time ago, before there were tests on drugs in Germany, it was quite normal,” Neururer told USA TODAY Sports in a telephone interview. “Captagon was popular and it was available. I think there was a lot of people in (soccer) that took it. I saw it.” Originally manufactured to counteract hyperactivity and depression, Captagon fell out of favor in Western medical circles but, according to an extensive Reuters report last year, is used by both jihadists and regular members of Middle Eastern society.
Captagon contains fenethylline, which acts as a stimulant that can keep the user awake and provide a high level of alertness lasting several days. According to Forbes, the original version of Captagon was produced by German pharmaceutical company Degussa AG in the 1960s. A subsidiary of Degussa made theZyklon B gas that was used to poison and murder Jewish victims in concentration camps during World War II. Captagon’s use in German sports first came to mainstream attention in 2007, when Michael Krueger, a former coach in the German Bundesliga — the country’s highest soccer division — admitted in a magazine interview that he had taken the product. “As a 18-year-old, I took Captagon,” Krueger told Sport-Bild. “It didn’t do much for me, but the day after I was exhausted, and when I later found out what Captagon was, I stopped taking it. During the earlier part of my career, I saw one or two players take the drug just before important games.” According to German Sports, Doping and Politics, an extensively researched history of doping in German athletics, it was reported that in 1970 Erich Klamma, a German decathlete, tested positive for Captagon but argued, with supporting medical evidence, that it treated pyelitis, or inflammation of the pelvis. Neururer spelled out its effects. “You can run — not faster — but you just have no problem with your condition,” Neururer said. “You can keep running and you don’t get tired. “Say you are an athlete that has a normal athletic condition, you get another 100% more (stamina). “It was not appropriate for everybody. The problem is that you can’t regenerate because you can’t sleep for two days. After two days, you have to practice again, so what do you do? You take another Captagon.” Neururer said that once doping controls became more commonplace toward the latter part of the 1980s, Captagon use in German soccer was all but eliminated. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2015/11/26/ped-captagon-paris-terror-attacks-german-soccer/76435354/