Jens Lehmann open to doping for rehab

Former Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has said in his Sport Bild column that there was a case for supporting the use of doping in rehabilitation.

There has been regular discussion over doping in Germany since the release of a study by Berlin’s Humboldt University in early August, and former West Germany star Bernd Schuster -- currently Malaga coach -- had defended the use of doping to speed up recovery from injury.

Former Arsenal ‘keeper Lehmann, 43, has expressed some support for that argument, saying footballers have a shorter career span than most and so aim to get the maximum from their bodies while they are able to so that they may “improve their personal circumstances” and build a financial cushion that lasts for the rest of their lives.

Therefore, he wrote, the question of injured footballers using “performance-enhancing substances” to shorten recovery time and earn money again is “worthy of discussion”.

“One should try to allow measures that accelerate the healing process” if it is technically possible, he argued.

However, he stressed that it was essential that the system was not abused.

“It is necessary to differentiate at which point you are taking the illegal, performance-enhancing substances,” he said. “If you are gaining a long-term advantage through taking [substances to aid rehabilitation], you have to rule them out.”

Lehmann also discussed his time at Arsenal, saying that he and his team-mates had taken infusions “without asking any questions”, although he did not believe that any rules would have been breached.

He added: “We knew, and the players today also know, that no physician would give us anything that would lead to a positive doping test. It is blind faith in the physicians.”