Jens Weinreich

Journalist, author and blogger,

Jens Weinreich _Thomas Søndergaard

Jens Weinreich, born 1965, is an investigative journalist and author. His specialist areas are international politics of sports; international organized crime in the Olympic world, the bidding circus for mega-events, the IOC and all Olympic sport federations including FIFA.

Weinreich runs the sports political blog Sport & Politics (in German).

He has covered almost three dozen of the biggest international sporting events including Olympic Games, World Championships in Athletics, Swimming and the FIFA World Cup. He has covered 25 IOC sessions and has reported on all Olympic bid competitions since 1991.

As a freelance journalist Weinreich is currently working for Germany’s public TV station ZDF, for DER SPIEGEL and other quality media outlets. He is about to publish his own monthly investigative magazine: “Sport & Politics” - in German, partly in English, including an e-paper (

Weinreich was named as Germany’s “Sport journalist of the year” (2009, 2013) and Germany’s “Online journalist of the year” (2009) and was ranked almost regularly in top 3 positions in different journalistic categories over more than a decade.

In 2005 he received the “Waechterpreis” for investigative journalism for investigations on the financial scandals during the Leipzig bid for the Olympic Games 2012.

In 2009 Weinreich received the prestigious “Grimme Online Award” for the new level of sport political coverage he has created on his blog “Sport and Politics”.

In 2011 he received the “Play the Game Award” together with Andrew Jennings for outstanding investigations on FIFA crime over almost two decades. Said the jury: “Jennings and Weinreich have been despised, criticized and excluded from doing their job by sports leaders, politicians, and even by their own colleagues. Still, they have been determined in pursuing their investigations. They not only sought, but also found the documentation, and that is a great achievement which has been fundamental for the world public’s understanding of FIFA as it is today.”

In 2015 he revealed – together with journalists from DER SPIEGEL – how Germany has become the host of FIFA’s World Cup 2006. Investigations of tax and criminal authorities are ongoing and focused on Germany’s football icon Franz Beckenbauer. The investigation team received the most prestigious journalistic award in 2016: the “Nannen Preis” for their exclusive stories that shook the German Football Federation DFB.

1991 Olympia-Informator, Sportverlag Berlin, with V. Kluge.

1996 Muskelspiele - Ein Abgesang auf Olympia, Rowohlt Berlin Verlag, with T. Kistner. The book investigates the obscure backgrounds of some of the IOC`s leading figures, their alliances and secret deals which inevitably led to the sell-out of Olympic ideals and values.

1998 Das Milliardenspiel - Fußball, Geld and Medien, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, with T. Kistner. This report on soccer, the billion-dollar-game, focusses on the kind of policy FIFA adopted under the presidency of Joao Havelange and his successor Joseph Blatter. It examines the circumstances under which media-tycoon Leo Kirch secured the TV-rights to broadcast the word championships and explains why Nike is able to command Ronaldo and the Brazilian squad.

2000 Der olympische Sumpf - Die Machenschaften des IOC, Piper Verlag, with T. Kistner. The Salt Lake City scandal disclosed  widespread corruption within the IOC, yet some questions remain which are discussed in this report: How did Sydney get the games?  Is the president of the IOC a member of the secret catholic sect Opus Dei? What kind of contact is there between IOC members, bosses of the world boxing federation AIBA and alleged members of the Russian mafia?

2001 Seigneurs des anneaux, Éditions Golias  Olimpijska mocvara - Spletke i zakulusne igre Medunarodnoga olimijskog odbora, Naklada Szabó A3 data  (editions of Der olympische Sumpf in France and Kroatia)

2002 Das Milliardenspiel, China Social Scienes Publishing House (Chinese edition)

2004 Operation 2012 - Leipzigs deutscher Olympiatrip, Forum Verlag Leipzig, with G. Hartmann and C. Jeske  This book discovers the financial scandals and obscure backgrounds of the Leipzig bid for the Olympic Games 2012.

2006 Korruption im Sport, Forum Verlag Leipzig. A compendium of 24 authors from a dozen countries. A basic work on corruption in the olympic business.

TV documentaries
1992 Die ungleichen Brüder, ORB regional television, 45 minutes: History of east and west german sports contacts during the cold war.

1995 Deutsche Doping Republik, ORB, 45 minutes: Documentary which reports backgrounds of the east german doping system and the destinies of athletes.

1996 Der Herr der Ringe, Arte, 30 minutes: IOC and its President Juan Antonio Samaranch.

2004 The Untouchable, 57 minutes: Portrait and reportage of FIFA President Joseph Blatter and his politics. Part of a 4-part-series investigating the business and politics in international football, produced by Swedish and Danish Broadcasting Corporations SVT and DR1, broadcasted in appr. 15 countries.

2011 Olympiapoker, ARD/WDR, 45 minutes: A documentary on the Olympic bid 2018 and the competition between PyeongChang, Munich and Annecy.


Presentations at Play the Game conferences

Money, Power and Marionettes: The shift of Olympic Power - Play the Game 2013

The ISL bribery system - Play the Game 2009

Corruption in Sport: opportunities and mechanisms - Play the Game 2007

In the Wake of the ISL Collapse - Play the Game 2005

Play the Game

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