East Germany's doping system creator, Manfred Höppner, has passed away

East Germany's sports doctor from the 1970s and 1980s, Manfred Höppner, has passed away at the age of 89.
Etusuora: 01.02.2024 20:30Athletics
East Germany's doping system creator, Manfred Höppner, has passed away
Photo: Olavi Kaljunen/Trackpic
Manfred Höppner passed away on October 20th of last year, but the German media reported on his death for the first time only yesterday.

Höppner, who studied sports medicine at Karl Marx University in Leipzig, earned his doctorate in 1958. From 1964 to 1978, he served as the team doctor for East Germany's athletics federation and from 1967 to 1990 as the deputy director of East Germany's sports medicine unit.

Höppner was a member of the Medical Committee of the International Association of Athletics Federations from 1970 to 1991. He also worked unofficially for the East German secret police, Stasi, under the code name "Technik," meaning "Technology."

In 2000, Höppner was sentenced to 18 months of probation for aiding in the infliction of bodily harm to 20 individuals. He was found to have provided minors with doping substances affecting hormonal functions, such as the anabolic steroid Oral-Turinabol.

Manfred Höppner is widely regarded as a key architect of East Germany's dark doping culture, alongside Manfred Ewald. Ewald, who served as the head of East Germany's athletics federation from 1961 to 1988 and as the chairman of the national Olympic committee from 1973 to 1990, received a 22-month suspended prison sentence in the same trial.

In 1974, Ewald and Höppner established the "Working Group for Supportive Measures" in East German sports, which organized the distribution and use of prohibited substances.

Höppner is credited with openly discussing East Germany's doping culture and has also apologized to athletes who became victims of the system.