Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff is surprised by recent claims about systematic doping use in West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s and joked that he thought their impressive fitness was down to drinking plenty of beer.
A recent investigation by the Humboldt University of Berlin revealed that the West-German government financed experiments with anabolic steroids, testosterone, oestrogen and EPO in various sports, similar to doping programs in the DDR.
“I have heard the stories about the use of doping in West Germany and people have asked me whether I noticed anything at the 1974 World Cup,” Cruyff wrote in his column for De Telegraaf.
“To be honest, I cannot even remember whether there were already doping tests after games back then. I didn’t see anything strange during the final against West Germany.
“We didn’t know any better than that West-German players were always bigger and stronger than us. They were developed better physi cally, but everybody always said that was because they drank more beer.”
Netherlands was beaten 2-1 by West-Germany in the final of the 1974 World Cup.