Dope cheats are paid out

BERLIN - The drugs cheats who made East Germany one of the most powerful nations in sport are to be compensated for being forced to dope, according to the German Olympic Committee (DOSB).

BERLIN - The drugs cheats who made East Germany one of the most powerful nations in sport are to be compensated for being forced to dope, according to the German Olympic Committee (DOSB).

The DOSB said yesterday that 167 athletes who fell victim to state-sponsored doping regimes between 1970 and 1989 would each be awarded ß9250 (about R86000).

DOSB chief Michael Vesper said there was a "moral responsibility" to compensate the victims of state doping regimes. The offer was accepted by a representative for the former athletes, many of whom have suffered health problems since ending their careers.

"This signature symbolises a handshake between the two parties," said Michael Lehner, a lawyer for the victims. "It's the end of a long series of court cases."

The former athletes have agreed not to seek further damages from the DOSB, which will pay a third of the compensation package. The remainder will be paid by the state.

State-sponsored doping in the former East Germany is reported to have covered 10000 athletes between 1970 and 1989. Athletes went on to suffer from psychological problems, hormonal imbalances and had difficulties reproducing. - Sapa-AFP

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