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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 19:52 GMT
East German doping trial resumes
Karen Koenig says she was told the drugs she was given were vitamins
Two witnesses have testified in the case of a former East German swimmer who is seeking compensation for allegedly being doped with steroids.

Karen Koenig claims the German National Olympic Committee gave her performance enhancing drugs when she was a child.

The 1984 European swimming champion says her health has been damaged by the early steroid use.

A former doctor at Ms Koenig's swimming club told the Berlin court she gave swimmers drugs between 1982 and 1987.

But Dorit Roesler said she could not say whether Ms Koenig suffered health problems at the time.

The trial is being closely watched by other former East German athletes who may also seek compensation. The NOC has denied responsibility for doping.

There have been many criminal trials of officials involved in the doping programme of the former East Germany.

Now, institutions are being taken to court as former athletes seek compensation.

Clinical depression

Ms Koenig claims she was given performance-enhancing drugs from the age of 12 or 13 and that her trainers told her they were just vitamins.

The drugs may have helped her become European champion in 1984, but she believes they also caused her to gain weight and even led to her being admitted to hospital for clinical depression - a condition from which she still suffers.

Ms Koenig has been trying to win compensation from the NOC for several years. The trial resumed on Tuesday after a year-long break.

Her case rests on several points: East German secret police archives point to the involvement of NOC representatives, and the former head of the committee was convicted in connection with doping five years ago.

If Ms Koenig is successful, a further 137 East German athletes are waiting to follow her example and sue the NOC.

But the committee says other sporting organisations in East Germany had far more power than the NOC, and that they were really responsible for what happened.

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