Many players of the German Bundesliga before going to the field regularly take pain medication. What consequences it may lead and whether it is legal – in the material DW.
Neven Subotic (Neven Subotic) is not new in professional football. The athlete was born in 1988 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but began his football career in Germany where he moved with his parents at the age of five years. In the past Subotic played in the Bundesliga clubs such as “Mainz 05”, “Borussia” (Dortmund) and “Cologne”. At the moment he is a defender and rising star club “Union Berlin”.
Thanks to its experience of the now 31-year-old knows about the backstage life of the players firsthand. “For 14 years I watched as the players hand out ibuprofen like candy,” he says. According to Subotic, it is not about individual cases. Many players take the tablets, even if they have no pain, said the footballer.
German football: a step without pills
Neven Subotic is one of the 150 players in the Bundesliga interviewed as part of a major investigation conducted by the public legal TV channel ARD in conjunction with the center for investigative journalism Correctiv.
Within one year a team of journalists discussed the use of pain relievers with current and former professional players, coaches, doctors, football teams, experts and sports officials. This allowed them to conclude that the abuse of such drugs in the German football remains a mass phenomenon.
Along with other athletes their experience agreed to share and former Bundesliga player, ex-striker clubs Fortuna (Dusseldorf) and the “Mainz 05” Dani schahin (Dani Schahin). He admits that the last three or four years, regularly took painkillers – including prophylactically, to prevent the occurrence of any pain during the game. “To take the field without pills it is impossible”, – says the athlete.
Sports victories of the cost of health
Journalists of ARD and Correctiv also note that only a few athletes can give yourself the necessary time to fully recover from the injury. An unwritten rule in football States that: the sooner the player will return to the field, the better. Club doctors are often praised for what they can “bring up” the brightest star of the team before an important match.
This strategy, however, is fraught with long-term health consequences of athletes. A former professional footballer and European champion Karlheinz förster (Karlheinz F?rster) has also long been abused pain relievers. “In light of injuries, I just used the voltaren and played on,” said förster in an interview with Bild in 2017.
According to him, without medication, his football career would have ended much earlier. However, sporting success had come to him at great cost: the cartilage of the ankle joint was completely worn out. “Today I would advise each athlete to complete the treatment of injury to the end,” says ferster.
Painkillers used in Amateur sports
While painkillers in droves is used not only professional players but Amateur players. This is evidenced by the results of a survey conducted by ARD and Correctiv. Of the 1,100 respondents football fans about 80 percent admitted to using painkillers, while 56 percent answered that they do it regularly.
The President of the German football Association (DFB) Fritz Keller (Fritz Keller) called the figures “shocking” and promised to discuss the matter with the local football associations of the Federal States and coaches. “Amateur sports should enhance the health, not ruin it,” said Keller.
WADA: pain is not doping
The doctor of the team TSG 1899 Hoffenheim Thomas fröhlich (Thomas Fr?hlich), in turn, goes to the question of the use of painkillers formally. “In professional sport doping, we believe only drugs that are included in the relevant list,” he said. Ordinary painkillers did not.
This position is shared by the world anti-doping Agency (WADA). “Our experts agree that pain killers don’t enhance the performance of athletes, but only restore it”, – quoted Agency officials ARD and Correctiv.