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German report on banned drugs to be made public

BERLIN (Reuters) - A report on doping in German sport since the 1950s, which media reports say contains allegations of systematic use of banned substances, will be made public, the German government said on Monday.

The report says West Germany organized and experimented with doping in sports in the 1970s and 1980s, much like its East German neighbor, according to leaks in the media.

"The Interior Ministry has a strong interest in a complete clarification and assessment of the history of doping," ministry spokesman Philipp Spauschus told a news conference on Monday.

"The Federal Institute for Sport Sciences will today publish the researchers' final report...on its website and then the Federal Institute for Sport Sciences will do a specialist assessment and then there will also be a political assessment."

The report, commissioned by the Federal Institute and prepared by Berlin's Humboldt University, was completed in April. Its content had previously not been officially made public but some of it had filtered through the media.

According to the Sueddeutsche newspaper on Saturday, the report says that by the 1970s at the latest West Germany was actively involved in experimenting with performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids, testosterone and EPO, financed by taxpayers' money.

Any substances seen as boosting performances were then deployed in many sports, it said.

Before and even after the two nations reunified in 1990, East Germany was seen as a country that used state-run doping at the height of the Cold War to amplify its position in the world through its successes in sport.

West Germany, on the other hand, was never suspected of systematic state-backed doping but rather seen as a country with individual doping cases.

The report also says banned substances were given to minors in experiments to determine the effect of age on doping substances, according to media.

Spauschus said Germany took the fight against doping very seriously.

"Combating doping is, of course, primarily the sport industry's responsibility but the German government supports it to the extent that this falls within its responsibility and campaigns for clean sport that is free of manipulation and uses taxpayers' money for this purpose," he said.

"We support the national anti-doping agency for example and are providing it with around 3.5 million euros in 2013 alone.

"We certainly take the issue very seriously and the federal government primarily supports the fight against doping by providing financial means."

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Additional reporting by Michelle Martin in Berlin; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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