Sports medicine service of the GDR

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Logo of the SMD

The Sports Medical Service (SMD) of the GDR was a state-run, nationwide system of sports medical care.

The Sports Medical Service was responsible for the state-prescribed compulsory doping in competitive GDR sports .


Sports medical care in the GDR, from the initial voluntary sports medical care for all sports enthusiasts to comprehensive sports medical care for high-performance athletes, took place under central management with the formation of the SMD from 1963. With the aspired and ultimately achieved world recognition of the GDR in international sport, especially at the Olympic Games , competitive sporting tasks in the SMD received absolute priority. Most recently, more than two thirds of the 1800 SMD employees were involved in these tasks. In addition, there were sports medical advice centers in the districts and districts of the GDR, which were run by doctors with the qualifications “sports doctor” or “specialist in sports medicine”. In the first draft of the Unification Treatythere was a passage about the preservation of the SMD, which the finance ministers of the federal states contradicted. The SMD was dissolved on December 31, 1990.

Structure and tasks

Structure of the SMD of the GDR

The aim was to implement a family doctor system through the SMD, whereby the athlete could turn to his responsible sports doctor at any time, who was also required to sit in on training regularly and to influence training there.

Every area of SMD were in the system of competitive sports assigned clear responsibilities of the GDR. The district sports doctors were primarily responsible for the comprehensive care of the young athletes admitted to the training centers, who had been selected in a seamless selection process in the respective school classes. In addition, depending on the regional circumstances and interests, tasks in the field of popular sports , in sports therapy , in disabled sports as well as in sports medicine teaching could be performed. However, such activities were viewed as subordinate and had to take a back seat to the tasks of competitive sports support.

The Dynamo sports association as an institution of the ministries of the interior and for state security as well as the customs administration of the GDR set up a separate sports medical care system down to the district level in addition to its own main sports medical advice center in the East Berlin sports forum, based on the example of the SMD.

The Army Sports Association Vorwärts maintained sports medicine departments at the Army Sports Clubs (ASK) in Rostock , Frankfurt (Oder) , Potsdam , Leipzig and Oberhof . Association, team, section and discipline group doctors from all of these institutions performed the specific tasks in the sports associations and their medical commissions.

The specialist organ "Medicine and Sport", published since 1961 by the Society for Sports Medicine of the GDR , operated from 3/1969 under the primary publication of the SMD.

In addition to looking after competitive athletes, the SMD was also responsible for assessing the exemption from compulsory sport in schools and educational establishments in the GDR (if it lasted more than four weeks).

In 1990 the SMD employed around 1,800 people, including around 350 specialists in sports medicine. That was just under 0.4 percent of the total 500,000 employees in the health and social services of the GDR.

Forced doping system

The state-decreed compulsory doping in GDR competitive sport with the participation of doctors from the SMD, which is subject to the greatest secrecy, gave rise to extensive investigations, prosecutions and convictions of trainers, officials and doctors up to the year 2000. Anabolic steroids were distributed throughout the GDR by the sports medicine service . In 1990 the stocks were disposed of. Manfred Höppner , Deputy Director of the Sports Medical Service from 1967 to 1990, under whose direction underage athletes were given hormonal doping agents such as Oral-Turinabol against their will and without their knowledge despite known health risks , became one in 2000 for aiding and abetting bodily harm in twenty cases imprisonment of 18 months on probation convicted.

The “Central Institute with Rehabilitation Center and Doping Control Laboratory” in Kreischa was also subordinate to the SMD . In this central test facility, which every GDR athlete had to go through before international competitions, it was ensured that the doped athletes would not attract attention, i.e. that they would be negative in subsequent international doping controls . Dietrich Behrendt, former deputy head of the doping control laboratory in Kreischa said “... that this laboratory was founded in 1977 not with the aim of fighting doping, but rather to make doping possible. The exit controls served to ensure that the anabolic doping that had previously taken place could not be discovered. "


  • Karl-Hans Arndt, H. Löllgen, D. Schnell - DGSP (Hrsg.): 100 years of GERMAN SPORTMEDICINE. Druckhaus Verlag Gera 2012, ISBN 978-3-9814576-4-3

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Giselher Spitzer: Dynamo medical files are made accessible - information after decades. In: Berliner Zeitung . January 23, 2003, accessed August 9, 2019 .
  2. ^ Report on the doping process on Spiegel Online, July 18, 2000
  3. Cathrin Gilbert, Maik Großekathöfer, Jörg Kramer, Udo Ludwig, Gerhard Pfeil, Jens Weinreich, Michael Wulzinger: Unity: Race for truth . In: Der Spiegel . No. 34 , 2009, p. 102-109 ( Online - Aug. 17, 2009 ).
  4. BGH, decision of February 9, 2000, Az. 5 StR 451/99, full text
  5. ^ Ines Geipel : Lost games: Journal of a doping process. Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-88747-160-1 , p. 152
  6. Chronology: Der Prozess , Spiegel Online July 18, 2000
  7. ^ Michael Krüger: culture of remembrance in sport. 2nd Edition. LIT Verlag Münster, 2012, ISBN 978-3-643-11677-2 , p. 52 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  8. Hans-Georg Aschenbach : Your hero. Your traitor .. Mitteldeutscher Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-95462-147-7 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  9. ^ Sports chronicle of the turnaround: The silent cartel of sports medicine and sports officials , Deutschlandfunk , August 22, 2010