BERLIN, Germany (AP) — Former Olympic shot put champion Udo Beyer has for the first time admitted doping, saying in a documentary that it was his personal decision and that he won the gold medal in 1976 in Montreal because he was "the best" and not because he doped.
Beyer competed for East Germany, which had a systematic doping programme for its top athletes, many of whom have said they were not aware they were being given performance-enhancing substances.
Speaking in the film The Lone Wolf shown at the Berlin Film Festival this week, Beyer said he knew what was happening.
"I knew everything that was done with me. Things I did were my own decision. I gave myself the right to do it," Beyer said in the film.
"There were things I refused and there were things I did. And there were no secret things in the tea," the 57-year-old former athlete tells filmmaker Sandra Kaudelka, a former diver.
Asked if his victory in Montreal had been unjust, Beyer replied; "No, not at all. I was the right Olympic champion because I was the best in the competition."
Beyer said doping accounted for only "two or three per cent" of an athlete's performance.
"Everything else is hard work. And if you are not properly trained, you can swallow as many pills as you want ... you will never be a top athlete," he said.