Berlin: Two members of West Germany's 1966 World Cup football squad have dismissed suggestions players may have broken doping rules with cold treatment medicine.
"I've experienced a lot, but this really is complete and utter rubbish," former defender Willi Schulz told Sport1 television. "I rarely laughed so much and almost crashed the car into a tree when I heard of it on the radio. The allegations are ridiculous."
Juergen Grabowski, who scored five goals in 44 appearances for West Germany between 1966 and '74, said he was "flabbergasted" by the claims.
"It's the first I've heard of it. I was never aware of any doping with the national team, nor was it ever an issue," Grabowski said.
Historians at Berlin's Humboldt University recently uncovered a letter dated Nov. 29, 1966, in which the FIFA medical committee chairman Mihailo Andrejevic wrote of "very fine traces of a certain ephedrine-based medicine against colds" found in three unnamed German players at the World Cup.
Ephedrine, a decongestant, is also a stimulant and was on FIFA's list of banned substances at the time.
The letter, addressed to West German Athletics Federation president Max Danz, was seen by German magazine Der Spiegel.
FIFA conducted doping tests at the 1966 World Cup for the first time, but there were no reports of any positive tests and no sanctions were made.
England beat West Germany 4-2 in the final, with Geoff Hurst scoring England's disputed third goal.
The letter was uncovered as part of a study, based on archive material and witness statements, called "Doping in Germany from 1950 to today."
Academics from Berlin and Muenster aim to present their findings by mid-November. The Federal Institute for Sport Sciences commissioned the study.
The German football federation (DFB) is cooperating with the inquiries, DFB media director Ralf Koettker said.
"Transparency is very important to us. That's why we invited (Muenster-based) Professor Michael Krueger to take a look at the DFB's available archive material in July," Koettker said.
Argentina's Diego Maradona was famously sent home from the 1994 World Cup after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, including ephedrine.