Banned drug found in toothpaste

 

An anti-doping official has confirmed that nandrolone had been found in the toothpaste used by former Olympic champion Dieter Baumann, who faces a two-year ban after testing positive for the banned anabolic substance.

Dr Wilhelm Schaenzer said yesterday tests performed at his Cologne laboratory, which specialises in doping and collaborates with the German Athletics Federation (DLV), had revealed the German athlete's toothpaste contained nandrolone.

"The substance was injected into the tube," Schaenzer told journalists at the DLV headquarters in Darmstadt. "That means somebody did it. The manipulation could have taken place inside the house or it could have been done by somebody from the outside."

Baumann's lawyer, Michael Lehner, had earlier said someone was responsible for the presence of nandrolone in his client's toothpaste.

"It can be assumed that this results from an offence," said the lawyer, adding he had been asked by his client to file legal proceedings against unknown parties.

Traces of nandrolone appeared in two samples of Baumann's urine from random tests carried out at training sessions on October 19th and November 12th.

Under DLV rules, an athlete who tests positive for anabolics is automatically suspended for two years pending a hearing by the ruling body's anti-doping committee.

Baumann, the 5,000 metres gold medallist in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, has campaigned against doping in athletics.

After the news broke that he had tested positive, he denied any wrong-doing and said he was determined to prove his innocence, adding he did not believe in any conspiracy.

"The findings of the anti-doping institute are for me a major step towards a clarification of this difficult situation," Baumann told German sports news agency SID. "My concern was always to find the reason for the positive nandrolone tests.

"This has been done through a scientific analysis. I now trust that the state prosecutors will find through their inquiry who is responsible for this criminal offence."

DLV president Helmut Digel, who has always regarded Baumann as a precious ally in his fight to clean up the sport, said: "To speak the layman's language, we have a crime."

"This is a case of premeditated bodily harm," said Clemens Prokop, the DLV vice-president responsible for legal matters.

Schaenzer's team found the nandrolone in the toothpaste as they were analysing the food stuffs and beverages in Baumann's house.

"All the workers from the lab who brushed their teeth with it then tested positive," Lehner said.