Daum confirms cocaine use, wants to coach again
publiziert: Freitag, 12. Jan 2001 / 19:44 Uhr

Cologne - Former Bayer Leverkusen coach Christoph Daum confirmed Friday that he had consumed cocaine on an occasional basis at home but added that he hopes to train a football club soon - possibly by this summer.

"I declare openly and clearly that I came into contact with drugs and consumed cocaine," Daum told some 200 reporters during a 65- minute press conference in Cologne, Germany. "I consumed it occasionally in the privacy of my own home."

Daum, 47, said he was not allowed to discuss how much and when he consumed the drug because of two pending legal cases surrounding him. He did say he is not addicted to cocaine and that he does not consume it any longer. And he said he took the drugs to relieve arthritis pain in his hip.

Daum's comments were the first since he left for the United States after testing positive for drugs on October 21, when he also stepped down from his posts as Leverkusen coach and designated German national coach. Daum laughed and called it a "mistake" to voluntarily have a hair sample analysed, which eventually tested positive.

He said he felt pressured from the media to answer allegations that he had consumed drugs and was not fit to become national coach. "I had a dream job, and I was ready to take a chance (with the analysis)," Daum said. "I wouldn't have got the job if I been asked if I took drugs and said, 'Yes, now and again.'"

Daum said his coaching abilities had not suffered from the drug consummation and defended his skills, saying he would have been the "right one" to lead the German national team. He said he was ready to get back to coaching but added he will not make a decision on the future until the end of March.

"There are other things in the forefront," said Daum, who has reportedly received numerous coaching offers, including one for the Iranian national coach job, which eventually went to two Croats. "I expect that I will move again this summer," said Daum, who won a Bundesliga title with VfB Stuttgart in 1992 and with Besiktas Istanbul in 1995.

Even with his drug consummation in the open, Daum did not exclude the possibility that he would one day fulfill his dream and coach the German national team. DFB vice president Hans-Georg Moldenhauer said he could not see Daum as Germany's national coach in the "foreseeable future", adding that, "Coaches are role models just like teachers."

Rudi Voeller, whom Daum was scheduled to replace as German coach, said Daum cleared the slate and has a chance for a "new beginning". "I am convinced that Christoph will have a good future as a coach because of his excellent abilities," Voeller said.

Daum personally apologized to future DFB president Gerhard Mayer- Vorfelder, who had supported him throughout the entire ordeal. "I apologize to him with all my heart for leaving him in the dark. Gerhard always asked me if there was anything to the speculation," said Daum, who called himself a liar.

Mayer-Vorfelder said it was correct that Daum admitted to committing an error and said he was convinced of the regret he saw on Daum's face during the press conference. Daum said it was an extremely difficult decision to come public and needed to discuss the situation with his girlfriend and children first.

"It was a difficult thing for my children to understand. They had to realise that even parents have their weaknesses. What was most important was that I was honest with them," he said. Daum said he believes the majority of those close to him have forgiven him, but said he was happy there were his doubters out there whom he would eventually prove wrong.

He said he had no hard feelings toward Bayern Munich manager Uli Hoeness, who was one of the first to hint publicly that Daum might have sniffed cocaine. "I haven't talked to him yet, but if I see him, there are a few things to talk about," Daum said.

Hoeness, with his team in Malta for winter training camp, accepted Daum's apology and said he would be ready to meet him. Daum had left for Florida for more than two months to "achieve some time and space" from Germany and its media and to "cleanse himself" and consider what his next move would be.

"I needed the distance to straighten out a few things and look inside myself to put an end to certain things," Daum said. During the some 80 days in the United States, Daum also served as an adviser to a 50 million dollar soccer training centre for youths. Prosecutors in Cologne said Daum's statements will likely have mitigating effects on his punishment if he's prosecuted on suspensions of drug offences.

(dpa)

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