Doping and sports - 1976



Belgian doctor Roland Marlier, member of the Medical Commission of the IOC, was sentenced to six months in 1976 and a fine of thirty thousand Belgian Francs (= 7,500 Euro), because he provided stimulants to cyclist Eric de Vlaeminck (1945-2015).

The German daily 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung' published in January that a dozen Belgian cyclists, soigneurs and sports physicians were sentenced by the Ghent District Court to prison sentences ranging from two weeks to six months.

Dutch rider Wil van Helvoirt (1952-) quit with professional cycling in 1976 with the motivation:

"I'd rather stop myself than to expose myself to all the doping risks that I've experienced in a short time. I want to save my body from what many of my colleagues do to theirs. Many riders put their faith in the hands of so-called caretakers who really do not deserve this name, on the contrary. I have always liked to cycle but not at this price."

After the last ride in 'L'Étoile des espoirs' French riders Rachel Dard (1951-) and Bernard Bourreau (1951-) were caught when they wanted to deliver urine from a condom via a rubber tube during a doping test. A few weeks later Dard told the whole story to L'Équipe. He also explained the rules of the notorious team doctor François Bellocq (1946-1993) and revealed that riders who received cortisone and steroids were in a 'miserable state'.

After the eighth stage of the 1976 Vuelta Belgian rider Eric Jacques (1953-) took the lead of the classification, but later he tested positive and he got ten minutes penalty time.

During the Tour of Belgium, French rider Patrick Béon (1950-) was caught using amphetamines. In December 2002, he was one of the twelve defendants who appeared before the Court of Rennes in France for his involvement in the trade of the 'Pot Belge', a cocktail of amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine and a few other banned substances. The case came to light in October 2000 when Customs seized a parcel on the French-Belgian border, which was addressed to Béon's mother. During the trial, the Frenchman confessed that he had supplied at least seventy riders. He also said that at the beginning of the 70s he was the best  amateur racing cyclist of his generation and then drove clean. He started amphetamines himself two years after he switched to the pros, because he was drive off by peers who could not follow him with the fanciers.

"Doctors prescribed the drug and we just went to get it from the pharmacist."


Four players from Bayern Munich accused their trainer Dettmar Cramer (1925-2015) (photo) that he had given them the amphetamine Captagon. In an interview with 'France Football', Professor Manfred Donike (1933-1995) confirmed in February 1978 that he knew the Bayern players were swallowing Captagon and also the German sports doctor Gerhard Raab indicated during a seminar in November 1979 that the use of Captagon at Bayern together with ephedrine and codeine in syrup form was very common.

Franz Beckenbauer (1945-), captain of the German team at the 1974 World Cup, confessed in 1976 to the weekly 'Der Stern' that he had been given injections of his own blood to improve his condition.

Track and Field

German Walter Schmidt (1948-) was one of the better hammer swingers of his generation. He improved the world record twice. He finished sixth at the European Championships in 1971 and at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montréal. In the autumn of 1976, in the TV broadcast 'Hormonathletes' of the German television station SWF, he openly testified about the doping use at the Games of Montréal, including his own use of anabolics.

"Every ten days I got a 50mg injection from Professor Armin Klümper (1935-), the so-called depot syringe, but I also injected myself into the buttocks or the thighs, and it was not difficult at all to get the stuff."

Schmidt was trained by Uwe Beyer (1945-1993), who also admitted that he was preparing with anabolics. Beyer died of a heart attack at a young age, which was probably caused by his anabolic use.