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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 17:32 GMT
Doped GDR athletes awarded payout
The doping scheme was sponsored by the communist regime
Germany's Olympic Committee has agreed to compensate former athletes who were victims of systematic doping in East Germany under the communist rule.

The committee (DOSB) said 167 sportsmen and women would each receive a one-off payment of 9,250 euros (6,200).

The deal ends a five-year legal dispute between the athletes, many of whom were made ill by the drugs, and the DOSB.

The athletes argued that the DOSB of unified Germany inherited the liability of East Germany's sports body.

'Moral responsibility'

They said they had been given drugs without their knowledge from an early age.

Many said they had suffered psychological problems as a result. Some female athletes said they had become infertile.

DOSB head Michael Vespers said his committee had a "moral responsibility" to compensate the victims of state-sponsored doping regimes.

"This is a day of celebration. We can now look to the future and stop looking back over years of arguments," Mr Vespers said.

The DOSB will pay a third of the compensation package - the remainder will be given by the federal government.

The former athletes have agreed not to seek any other legal action.

It is the second time that damages have been paid to former East German athletes - 194 received compensation of 10,400 euros (6,900) each.

Some 10,000 athletes are thought to have been given performance-enhancing drugs to help East Germany compete with the major sporting powers like the US and the former USSR.

Doping scandal reaches court
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