Lahm’s Take On The Issue of Doping

I have not been following the debate, so I am not sure about all the why’s, where’s , when’s, etc. In short, I would not be able to tell why, apart from the elections, it seems to be such a hot topic in Germany at the moment. If anyone has any input, I would appreciate it if you shared it with the rest of us.

Two weeks ago or so, I watched a press conference with Lahm, and I remember journalists asking him to give his opinion on this subject. Taking the matters into his own hands, as he quite often does, he responded with, “What do you like to know?” After the journalist had reorganized his question, Lahm told him that, for example, he has to let the committee know where he goes on vacation because he must be accessible, or something along those lines.

In any case, now I understand that the discussion has been going on for quite some time. I was not able to get my hands on Lahm’s interview in Spiegel, as I always prefer to read the original, but one of the articles had a few of his quotes, so I’m going with that.

Instead of translating it word by word, here’s a brief summary of Lahm’s two cents:

  • He says that there have been cases of football players using doping, which can always repeat itself.
  • Lahm distinguishes between sports like running 100-meter dashes and football, in that he believes that the former is more likely to be “under suspicion”. (Cycling belongs to the same category.) He points out that football is more complex because one must have an understanding of the game and must understand tactics, which cannot be influenced by taking illegal substances.
  • What reassures him is the fact that one can be successful in football without doping. As an example, he mentions winning the treble but recounts that he had to undergo doping control testing 6 times because of that. Two of those were announced, and the doping control officers turned up at his doorstep.
  • He also talks about his obligation to report to the National Anti-Doping Agency, telling them three months in advance about his availability. Lahm emphasizes that it’s not always easy when one has to be available around the clock, practically from 6am to 11pm (6:00 to 23:00).
  • With regard to the anti-doping law, he states that he’s for fair play, therefore he is against any form of cheating. If the majority of the Bundestag votes for it, then from his point of view, as a professional athlete, everything is in order.
  • Also, he describes how the news about Lance Armstrong and doping scandals in cycling disappointed him. In Lahm’s opinion, those athletes failed themselves. (my note: as in “they disappointed themselves”) However, he believes that they’ve been equally influenced by those around them, by doctors, by sports directors of their teams (by those in charge of a team in terms of all the aspects related to sports).

If there has to be a law, I think they should really work on making it more practical. I, personally, do not have any ideas as to how to improve it, but there must be a way. A three months notice is rather too much. Things can change so fast.

That being said, if someone has the full interview/has read the full interview, please don’t hesitate to share. That would be appreciated.

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