August Kirsch (sports official)

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August Kirsch

August Kirsch , actually Augustin Kirsch (born September 14, 1925 in Oberhausen , † December 23, 1993 in Cologne ) was a German athlete , sports scientist and sports official. For many years he was President of the German Athletics Association and Vice President of the National Olympic Committee .


August Kirsch began his professional career as a competitive athlete. In 1948 he won with the SC Rot-Weiß-Oberhausen at the German championships in the 4 x 400 meter relay. In the same year he began studying at the newly founded Sport University Cologne , which he completed with a thesis on Franz Lieber . At the same time he studied history, Latin and English at the University of Cologne . He obtained his doctorate in 1952 with a major in modern and medieval history, his dissertation was a version of his diploma thesis on the gymnast and freedom fighter Franz Lieber, expanded to include extensive archive studies.

In his main occupation, Kirsch was initially a teacher at the grammar school . In the following years, however, he took on numerous tasks and honorary posts in public sport. From 1964 he taught at the Sports University in Cologne, where he was appointed professor in 1968, and in 1975 he was the first former lecturer ever to receive an honorary professorship as director of the Federal Institute for Sports Science . In sports politics, he was initially the youth manager of the German Athletics Association . He resigned from this office in 1969, so that he was not involved in the wrong decisions of the association that led to the boycott of the European championships by the German team. As an experienced association representative who had experience with young, self-confident athletes, especially students, he was elected as the new president. Here he exposed himself for fifteen years as President (1970–1985). The high point of his tenure were the Olympic Games in Munich , at which his athletes were awarded six Olympic gold medals. Kirsch held other offices as a member of the executive committee of the International Athletics Association (IAAF), as chairman of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), and as a member of the Federal Committee for Science and Education of the German Sports Confederation . As NOK vice-president, he also applied for the office of chairman. In the candidate selection, however, the younger Walther Tröger was given preference.

According to the book "Doping in top-class sport - sports-scientific analyzes of national and international performance development", it is certain that Kirsch was "more than just vaguely informed about the anabolic steroids situation in the athletics association" in the 1970s. Kirsch had known "about doping with young athletes" since at least 1975 and did nothing about it. In the first volume of "The Anti-Doping Handbook" Kirsch is described as "probably the top functionary in the history of German sport exposed to the highest levels of doping".

From 1973 to 1990, until his retirement, August Kirsch headed the Federal Institute for Sports Science . Here he had a decisive influence on the Cologne Trainer Academy of the German Olympic Sports Confederation coming to Cologne and insisted on teaching continuously. As a scientist with an international reputation, he wrote numerous sports science publications, especially on sports education . He is considered one of the most important German sports leaders of the post-war period.

August Kirsch was married and the father of three children. His son is the manager Wolfgang Kirsch .


  • Honorary President of the German Athletics Association (DLV)
  • Honorary member of the European Athletics Federation (EAA)
  • Honorary member of the National Olympic Committee (NOK)
  • Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class (1982)
  • Great Cross of Merit


  • Dr. Kerstin Kirsch (Ed.): Prof. Dr. August Kirsch: Olympic moves - athletically easy . Tenea, 1998, ISBN 3-932274-03-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Arnd Krüger : A Cultural Revolution? The Boycott of the European Athletics Championships by the West German Team in Athens 1969, in: European Committee for Sports History (Ed.): Proceedings Fourth Annual Conference . Volume 1. Florence: Universitá 1999, 162 - 166.
  2. ^ FAZ , December 24, 1993.
  3. ^ Andreas Singler, Gerhard Treutlein: Doping in top-class sport - sport-scientific analyzes of national and international performance development (sport development in Germany) . Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2012, ISBN 978-3-89899-192-6 , pp. 206 .
  4. ^ Rüdiger Nickel, Theo Rous: Das Anti-Doping-Handbuch, Volume 1: Basics . Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2009, ISBN 978-3-89899-423-1 , pp. 270 .
  5. Frank Vohle: August Kirsch . Diem Archives, ISBN 3-89653-389-4 .
  6. Kölner Stadtanzeiger , December 24, 1993.