Dr. Manfred Hoeppner served as the German Democratic Republic's (GDR) top sports doctor. He and Manfred Ewald, who served as German Democratic Republic's (GDR) minister of sport ('61 to '88) and president of his country's Olympic committee ('73-'90), are regarded as the architects of their country's state-sponsored system of using illicit performance-enhancing drugs, which is believed to explain GDR's Olympic success between 1972 through 1988. Hoeppner allegedly had ties to the East German secret police, the Stasi.
On July 18, 2000, in Berlin, both Manfred Ewald and Dr. Hoeppner were convicted as accessories to intentional bodily harm of athletes, including minors. Both received probation. During the trial Dr. Hoeppner testified that they had approval from the highest level of the government of the GDR. However, unlike his colleague, Dr. Hoeppner expressed remorse in his role and was quoted as saying to the court "I beg those athletes who suffered ill-health to accept my apologies."