Germany's victorious 1954 World Cup with its iconic Miracle of Bern might not have been as magical as people dreamt about due to the doping allegation.
Such taboo allegation comes from at least two publications. The first was the 2013 report entitled "Doping in Deutschland von 1950 bis heute aus historisch- soziologischer Sicht im Kontext ethischer Legitimation" [Doping in Germany from 1950 to today from a historical and sociological perspective in the context of ethical legitimacy] from researchers at Humboldt University Berlin and University of Munster but had been published earlier by German daily newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, in extracts only in Sunday editions. Another one was a paper written by sport historian Erik Eggers about 'Heroes in Bern' as a result of years of study, which was released in 2006.
Those sources stated that West Germany government had funded a systemised doping through the establishment of the Institute for Sport Science (BISp) in 1970. It was tasked to examine various substances such as anabolic steroids, testosterone, oestrogen and EPO for enhancing performance in sport. However, this malpractice might have been unofficially going on long before.
In World Cup 1954, there had been some findings on the use of methamphetamine Pervitin, not vitamin as claimed, discreetly injected to most players in the squad from the same syringe. Such substance was normally consumed among athletes back then and had been common for soldiers in World War II to improve their focus and physical fitness. The side effect of taking such substance was jaundice, which massively found among the players in Germany squad after the tournament. Hungary was believed to made official allegation after the final, especially when syringes were said to be found in Der Panzer locking room. Nevertheless, it was rejected by FIFA.
There has been several theory on West Germany's reason to do so. The most likely one was more political from bringing back instant national pride after the World War to the sporting rivalry with the Eastern side in the Cold War. The 1954 final happened to be the clash of the West and the East.
The number of supporting sources could go on further. The first one was the contact between FIFA and the German Athletics Federation (DLV) in 1966. It stated that three players in Germany squad were tested positive of consuming ephedrine, one of the banned substances, during the World Cup in the same year. However, their identities were not exposed and they were not even suspended from international football. Next, there was an autobiography from the former number one Die Mannschaft goalie in the 1980s, Harold Schumacher. The book entitled 'Anpfiff' (kick-off) in 1987 exposed the team's medical treatment in Mexico 1986. Unfortunately, it led to his exclusion from the national team and a sudden departure from his club, FC Koln afterwards. Finally, the most recent one, the article on BBC about the retired German footballer, Frank Mill published on December 23rd 2021. The former member of World Cup squad in 1990 stated the common consumption of amphetamine, another forbidden substance, in Germany during 1980s.
Considering its huge impact, DFB did respond to the 2013 report by commissioning Germany Sports University professor Martin Nolte to conduct more study on this case. Unfortunately, its result has not been officially published. Moreover, the German football governing body even opts for restricting access to the primary source of Professor Nolte's findings. Their reluctance to more transparent investigation is still quite apparent. Nonetheless, the story has spread and the world's view on Germany's past glory will definitely change.