Low: I met with discredited doctor

The coach does not believe doping is widespread and confirmed he did consult Dr Armin Klumper during his playing career - but only when he picked up injuries

Germany coach Joachim Low has confirmed he met with Dr Armin Klumper, who has been accused of overseeing systematic doping in the country in the 1970s and 1980s, during his playing days.

Klumper allegedly facilitated the use of steroids in cycling, but also at both Stuttgart and Freiburg, two Bundesliga clubs that Low represented during his career.

However, while Low freely admits to having consulted with Klumper over injuries, he says he was never involved in doping.

"People have asked me several times whether I visited Dr. Klumper, who became a little discredited," the World Cup-winning coach told ZDF.

"Of course, I was there sometimes but my trust in this profession was and is immense. I have real trust. Being 18 or 19 years old, I would not have the guts to ask questions or to tell him that I want to let him make some further tests in a laboratory on the things that he gave to me.

"For me there is a big difference: A person going to the doctor being healthy, one being sick, one being injured. Doping with steroids is a systematic process which must be talked about with a doctor. I only requested medical help when I was injured. That's the big difference for me."

Low also argued that while doping in German football has to be investigated, he does not believe steroids are a major problem in the game.

"I don't want to evoke the impression that I want to play down this issue," he added.

"I am in favour of a quick investigation, but the whole picture has been blurred. There were some names that have been included in this doping story and that, I thought, was not always correct. 

"I had the feeling that the media coverage wanted to prove that there was doping in the game. Of course there have been black sheep in football over the course of time - like in any other sport.

"There were some revelations so that an investigation is necessary, of course. What I can say: In the 70s, 80s, when I was 18, 19 or 20 years old, there was no consciousness for doping. There were no rules, there were no controls. There was no consciousness, there were no investigations. 

"You were allowed to smoke on a plane, you were allowed to drive without a safety-belt. There have been doping controls in football since 1986. I know that right now the controls are that strict that there are no possibilities for a player to use doping. 

"There were 26 doping cases in the last 30 years. Football is doing an awful lot to fight this. Doping has no part in sports."