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Former coach Springstein guilty of doping charges

Written by: Staff
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FRANKFURT, Mar 20 (Reuters) Former athletics coach Thomas Springstein was given a 16-month suspended sentence today after a Magdeburg court found him guilty of doping, including giving banned drugs to under-age athletes.

Springstein, one of Germany's best known coaches, was accused of supplying the drugs in 2003.

The 47-year-old, who is the ex-partner of former world and European 400 metres champion Grit Breuer, was also ordered to complete 150 hours of community service.

He was given one week to appeal.

Voted German coach of the year in 1992, Springstein trained Breuer and fellow sprinter Katrin Krabbe.

He was part of the East German athletics set-up under which many competitors fell victim to a state-controlled doping programme before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Some of those athletes developed serious health problems such as heart disease and cancer and are seeking compensation from the company that manufactured the drugs.

REUTERS PDS KN2245

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