Dieter Baumann

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDieter•Baumann
Used nameDieter•Baumann
Born9 February 1965 in Blaustein, Baden-Württemberg (GER)
Measurements178 cm / 62 kg
AffiliationsVfL Waiblingen, Waiblingen (GER) / Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Leverkusen (GER)
NOC Germany West Germany
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2


Dieter Baumann started in 1988 for West Germany winning silver, in 1992 winning a totally surprising gold, and 1996 placing fourth for the re-unified German team over 5,000 metres. He was the most successful German long distance runner of all-time and, thru 2011, is still the fastest non-African over 5,000 metres. Beside his Olympic success he took part in five World Championships: 1987 (1,500 semifinal), 1991 (5K 4th), 1995 (5K 9th), 1997 (5K 5th) and 2003 (10K dnf). Even more successful were his appearances at the European Championships: 1994 gold in the 5000 metres, and 1998 and 2002 silver in the 10K. This was complemented by 40 national titles in distances between 1,500 and 10,000 m and cross-country running. He retired in 2003.

In 1999 Baumann was tested positive for nandrolone, with a blood level 20 times above the allowable limit. The muscle-building steroid was found in a tube of toothpaste, possibly placed there by clandestine means. He was suspended for two years by the German Track & Field Association DLV, but the suspension was lifted in 2000; however, the IAAF did not lift the ban. To prove his innocence, Baumann and his wife took a lie detector test at the Psychological Institute of the University of Cologne, where it was found that Baumann, with a “probability of about 95%” told the truth, in his claims to have never knowingly taken doping substances. The doping scandal – in which Baumann repeatedly accused competitors of manipulation – was publicized in 2004 under the title Ich will Laufen! Der Fall Dieter Baumann (I want to run! The case of Dieter Baumann). The case itself, however, remained unexplained.

Since 1995, while working as a photo lab technician, Baumann also worked as a columnist for the taz and the journal Runner’s World. Later, he conceived a comedy program and processed his experiences in it. He also wrote two biographies and some textbooks about running. He is married to Austrian Isabell (né Holzang), who was also his longtime coach and the 1993-2001 German national coach for long-distance running.

Personal Best: 5000 – 12:54.70 (1997).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1988 Summer Olympics Athletics FRG Dieter Baumann
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1992 Summer Olympics Athletics GER Dieter Baumann
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1996 Summer Olympics Athletics GER Dieter Baumann
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 4

Olympic family relations

Special Notes