Eclat in the Doping Victims Assistance Club - Sports
- How strict must the criteria for support of athletes be by the Doping Victims Assistance Association?
- To this question, experts and the current leadership argue for years.
- Now the conflict has escalated - in a scuffle
Next to the filing cabinet hangs a framed picture. "The power of emotions" stands on it, and there are feelings here on this Thursday. Berlin, Room 209, the Doping Victims Assistance Association (DOH) is holding a press conference in the Federal Foundation for the Review of the SED dictatorship to report on its own work this year and on the new funds that the Confederation has pledged ,
At 11.22 o'clock the door of the room opens, Werner Franke, for some time critic of the DOH-Spitze, enters. "Mr. Franke, please leave the room," says Michael Lehner, the DOH chairman, immediately. He approaches him, tries to force him out of the room. "You have nothing to say to me," countered Franke, the file cabinet next to the door and the picture wobbles. Scramble, attachment until Franke stands outside. And Lehner and his nine employees, who are gathered here, fear, above all, what Treasurer Petra Westphal expresses most emphatically: "If we are shit in the press tomorrow, all our work is in the bag." The tears swallow down some with difficulty, the hands are shaking.
For quite some time, many emotions in the game at the DOH responsible, on Thursday, the arguments and disagreements led to a new image of the quarrelsome. Franke had supported the association for years in his role as a molecular biologist, numerous appraisals created. But in the past few years a dispute arose over the question as to who actually should be compensated in the sense of the Doping Aid Benefit Act. This dispute finally culminated in violence. "It hurts my soul," emphasized Lehner, after he had promoted Franke out of the room. He appreciated him a lot, but then played on the advanced age of Frankes: "It is a pity that he no longer recognizes how much he harms the cause of the club." Lehner explained that the 79-year-old was not invited to the press conference: "Werner Franke is not a member, let alone a founding member, he has no right to take part in this round." A point of view that Franke later called "balla balla", "that does not work". And you could tell that there are offenses in the game, as a proven and award-winning anti-doping expert is no longer allowed to speak. His opinion is no longer in demand, Franke thinks, because he has contrary views.
At the end of 2018 Ines Geipel, the longtime chairman of the association, resigned. At that time she spoke of "unworthy" debates; Successor Lehner von Wogen, which one has to smooth. The DOH around Geipel was accused to drive up the numbers of the doping victims and to acknowledge scientifically undeclared late consequences as such. Franke himself and three other doping opponents in a letter to members of the Sports Committee in the Bundestag called for a "fundamental change in the doping aid law", to make the examination procedures for compensation more stringent and transparent - and thus to prevent fraud by fraudsters. The law has always been an invitation to cheat, "by then-doping athletes who today claim to have known nothing". New hanger for the criticism had been the decathlete Christian Schenk, who had won Olympic gold in the GDR in 1988. In a biography he had admitted to have doped knowingly and now suffer from mental health problems. Then he publicly considered submitting an application under the Doping Victims Assistance Act.
Franke: "The dispute is in my sense"
Who is to be regarded as a victim and who is not, apart from the personal feelings and vanities, the various camps in the Doping Victims Help Club. "Even those who consciously took things, was not informed about the composition or consequential damages," said Treasurer Tina Jürgens on Thursday, following the view of Ines Geipel. It is obvious that a compulsory doping system such as that of the GDR can also result in mental retardation. The scientist Franke are of course more important (his own research) and expert reports, he does not let anything come of that. He himself had contributed shortly after the fall of the wall to uncover the GDR state doping. In 2004 he got the Federal Cross of Merit.
100 meters away from the room of the press conference Franke later revealed his views in a Bavarian restaurant. "The dispute is in my sense," he said, "because as a scientist, I am committed to the truth." He speaks of reports written by freeloaders. "There are not 1000 recognized doping victims, this number is wrong," said Franke, contradicting the statistics of the club. Several times the word "psycho-pack" falls, reports about alleged psychological consequences of second-generation doping victims seem to particularly upset him.
On November 26, the club celebrates its 20th anniversary. "As long as the need exists, it will give us," assures Prevention Commissioner Heike Knechtel, the work will continue. And Franke? He wants to publish a book "in which everything comes, also from the West".