Research institute for physical culture and sport

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Building of the former VCS (right area), 2007

The Research Institute for Physical Culture and Sport (FKS) was a scientific institution for competitive sports research in the GDR in the area of ​​the German University for Physical Culture in Leipzig .

The institute was in charge of sports science research in the field of biomechanics, sports medicine, performance diagnostics and prognosis, sporting activities at high altitudes, technical analysis and innovation, examination and measurement technology, the development of sports equipment and also for doping research within the framework of the state enforced doping system , the center the 1970s began.


The forerunner was the research center (FST) established on September 1, 1956 at the German University of Physical Culture (DHfK), the first director of which was Gerhard Hochmuth . The basis for the development of sports science research at the FST was formed by findings from Soviet sports science. In order to more effectively fulfill the competitive sporting goals of the GDR, the FKS was founded in April 1969 by uniting the research center and two thirds of the staff of the Institute for Sports Medicine of the German University of Physical Culture in Leipzig, while one third of the sports medicine staff remained at the DHfK for teaching and research. The FKS was the only institute for competitive sports research in the GDR; it was subordinate to the State Committee for Physical Culture and Sport. In 1989, 414 sports scientists and 186 additional employees worked at the FKS. According to Horst Röder (former professor at the DHfK), the FKS made a “significant contribution to the development of sports science, competitive sports and sport in the GDR.” Frank Reichelt judged in his thesis “The system of competitive sports in the GDR - presentation the structure and the structure based on selected examples ”, the VCS had carried out“ the most concentrated research for top-class sport ”in the GDR.

Tasks, structure and way of working

The task was primarily based on the DTSB's decision on competitive sports from April 22, 1969: “The further development of competitive sports up to the 1972 Olympic Games”. Thereafter, the research was to concentrate on the sports boxing, speed skating, weight lifting, athletics, wrestling, rowing, sledding, swimming, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, gymnastics, volleyball. Initially, according to Frank Reichelt, the VCS was divided into the research areas “Development of socialist education”, “Children and youth sports”, “Endurance sports”, “Speed ​​sports” and “Sports games”. A research group was set up for each sport within the respective research area, with the work in individual disciplines such as sledging being mainly supervised by representatives of the sports associations in cooperation with VCS employees. In 1973, young talent research was transferred from the FKS to the DHfK, and the university also took over research in the field of gaming. As part of a change in structure, the research areas were divided into “Social Sciences”, “Development and Technology”, “Neuro- and Muscle Physiology (later Performance Physiology) and Biochemistry”, “Biomechanics” and, in the case of sports, “Technical-acrobatic sports” (gymnastics, diving , Figure skating), "endurance sports" (running / walking in athletics, cycling, swimming, cross-country skiing), "speed sports" (sprinting, jumping, throwing and pushing in athletics, weightlifting, ski jumping), "combat sports" (boxing, fencing, Judo, wrestling).

According to Hans Schuster (director of the FKS from 1969 to 1990), around two thirds of the then approximately 200 disciplines of the Summer Olympics as well as the winter sports disciplines of cross-country skiing and ski jumping (biathlon and Nordic combined were part of research groups) were supported by the scientific work of the FKS. In order to ensure an exchange between science and sports practice, we worked with the sports associations as well as directly with trainers and athletes. In Schuster's view, “complex interdisciplinary research” is characteristic of the work at the VCS.

The research areas were divided into endurance, speed strength, one-on-one and technical-acrobatic sports. In addition, there was the research area social sciences, sports medicine / biosciences, automatic information processing, technology and development (ATE) and a center for scientific information and documentation.

The work on the VCS, which was subject to confidentiality, was carried out by interdisciplinary research groups. For example, sport-specific ergometers were put into operation in all sports until 1974 . These included u. a. 1971 the flow channel for swimming and 1974 the tilting treadmill for cross-country skiing. About 20 doctors were active in competitive sports research at the VCS, spread over various sports projects.

From the mid-1970s, sports medicine was relatively independent in performance diagnostics , exercise control , sports care and rehabilitation . The number of sports medicine specialists (specialists in sports medicine and advanced training assistants) employed at the FKS increased to around 40 by 1990. In the endocrinology ( doping research ) department, headed by a biologist, there was only one doctor. In the GDR, the outsourcing of competitive sports research from the sports science institutes was criticized because research funds were lacking and skills could not be further developed under optimal conditions. As a result, z. B. at the University of Jena expanded the biomechanics of winter sports.

Doping system

The institute developed doping substances and methods for state compulsory doping in competitive sport in the GDR . In the development of new doping preparations, the FKS worked together with the research department of Jenapharm and ZIMET. In 1988 the research institute ordered 60,000 mestanolone doping tablets (designation STS 646) from VEB Jenapharm . The amount was sufficient for 20,000 to 30,000 "treatment days" for weightlifters, wrestlers, swimmers and athletes in the throwing and pushing disciplines. The VCS operated 21 doping research projects in the Olympic cycle from 1984 to 1988 alone. The long-time FKS director Hans Schuster estimated “that without the administration of anabolic steroids, the international top position [could not have been] maintained”. The idea for the use of androstenedione in GDR competitive sports arose at the FKS. Kurt Schubert ( ZIMET ) Michael Oettel ( Jenapharm ) and Jürgen Hendel ( GERMED ) took part in a colloquium there in June 1981 . Winfried Schäker worked in series of human experiments to improve the dosage form and acceptance of doping substances in athletes. The athlete Volker Heinrich was integrated into the forced doping system and criminal research was carried out on him at the FKS Leipzig. The doping victim Heinrich died in 2015 at the age of fifty-eight. In December 1989, according to mirror the Promotion B ( "effect comparison of different anabolic steroids in animal models and on selected functional system of competitive athletes and demonstrate the practical relevance of the theoretical and experimental conclusions" title) of the staff employed at the FCS Günter Rademacher adopted, in explaining, that in endurance sports, the simultaneous use of the Oral-Turinabol and STS 646 agents "provided successful practical evidence in preparation for the 1988 Olympic Games". According to Spiegel , the work was kept under lock and key.

Ines Geipel , former GDR competitive athlete, doping victim and later doping fighter, described the FKS 2017 as an “illegal research institute” and relied on reports from those affected who stated that “especially in the 1980s for countless human experiments”. According to Geipel's remarks, plans for athletes to administer testosterone and epitestosterone were drawn up at the VCS in the first half of the 1980s, and these should be dosed in such a way as to bypass steroid controls.

Dissolution in 1990

In the Unification Treaty (Article 39) the continuation of the VCS in a suitable legal form or the affiliation to an existing organization was specified. After a transitional arrangement (“waiting loop”), 124 employees, including four doctors, were taken over by the Institute for Applied Training Science (IAT) , which was founded in Leipzig on April 16, 1992 . Dietrich Martin (Kassel) became the first director of the successor institute IAT in 1992.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Horst Röder: On competitive sport research and the scientific institutions involved. Retrieved February 9, 2019 .
  2. ^ Doping in the GDR , The Sportschau
  3. Lothar Pickenhain : With merciless hardness Professor Lothar Pickenhain the command structure of the GDR Sports , Der Spiegel , March 9, 1992
  4. a b c d 50 years ago - the research center was founded at the DHfK. In: Contributions to the history of sport, issue 22nd 2006, accessed on February 9, 2019 .
  5. a b c d Frank Reichelt: The system of competitive sport in the GDR - representation of the structure and the structure using selected examples . Diplomica, 2001, ISBN 978-3-8324-2960-7 , pp. 69-76 .
  6. THE AUTHORS. In: Contributions to the history of sport, issue 22nd 2006, accessed on February 9, 2019 .
  7. : "So far there was no stranger here" . In: Der Spiegel . tape 4 , January 22, 1990 ( [accessed February 9, 2019]).
  8. ^ Giselher Spitzer : Doping in the GDR. A historical overview of a conspiratorial practice. Genesis-responsibility-dangers. 3. Edition. 2003, ISBN 3-89001-315-5 .
  9. Arnd Krüger & Paul Kunath: The development of sports science in the SBZ and the GDR, in: Wolfgang Buss , Christian Becker (ed.): The sport in the SBZ and the early GDR. Genesis - structures - conditions. Schorndorf: Hofmann 2001, 351 - 366.
  10. ^ Frieder Pfeiffer: Doping past: The heavy burden with the East system . February 14, 2009.
  11. ^ BStU - Regional stories Gera - Doping .
  12. GDR sport: doping victims want to sue Jenapharm . April 7, 2006.
  13. See Uwe Müller, Grit Hartmann: Forgive and forget! Cadres, informers and accomplices - the dangerous legacy of the SED dictatorship. Berlin 2009, pp. 203-222.
  14. ^ IMS Hans, report by Lieutenant Colonel Radeke of May 7, 1975, ZERV archive, quoted in n. Jutta Braun: "Anyone anywhere - once a week sport" - triumph and illusion of GDR sport. In: Thomas Großbölting (Ed.): Friedensstaat, Leseland, Sportnation? GDR legends put to the test. Berlin 2009, p. 188.
  15. ^ Klaus Latzel : State doping - The VEB Jenapharm in the sports system of the GDR. Cologne / Weimar 2009, chapter doping and the pharmaceutical industry of the GDR II, cooperation in the command economy - using the example of androstendione, p. 121ff
  16. Cycling4Fans - Doping: Schäker, Winfried .
  17. ^ Obituary - doping-opfer-hilfe eV .
  18. ^ GDR doping victim Heinrich dies , Focus , May 16, 2015
  19. BOOKS, DISSERTATIONS, REPORTS. In: . Retrieved February 9, 2019 .
  20. "Also good for bomber pilots" . In: Der Spiegel . February 18, 1991 ( [accessed February 9, 2019]).
  21. Ines Geipel: The Stasi and competitive sport. In: Federal Center for Political Education. Retrieved February 9, 2019 .
  22. Federal Agency for Civic Education: Culture, Education and Science, Sport - bpb .
  23. Milestones 1991-1995 - Institute for Applied Training Science. Retrieved February 9, 2019 .