Urging No Early Judgment
German Olympic officials held a press conference on Friday morning at the German House, where the DOSB and its sponsors provide VIP hospitality in London for the games. There, DOSB director general Michael Vesper said that Drygalla had left no doubt "that she firmly stood not only for the constitution, but also for the Olympic values."
Vesper also rejected charges of guilt by association. "In Germany, thank God, there is the principle that each is responsible for one's own deeds and not for one's surroundings." It would be unjust, he continued, "to define another person based on their personal surroundings," adding that what is important for him is "how she thinks and acts."
Although admitting that "the story is not without problems," Vesper also used the occasion to defend German Olympic officials. "If we had had even the slightest indication that someone in our squad was xenophobic, this person wouldn't have been on the Olympic squad," he told the German sports news agency SID.
DRV President Siegfried Kaidel told the German news agency DPA that Drygalla had "affirmed several times that she had nothing to do with the far-right scene."
Drygalla was in London with the German women's eight rowing team, which was eliminated in the second round on Tuesday.
The DRV has announced that it intends to investigate Drygalla's private life once the games have concluded, after which it will decide upon any possible consequences. DRV President Siegfried Kaidel told the SID on Friday that "we will speak with her in peace once we are back home" and that she will be allowed to continue to be associated with the organization if nothing comes of the investigation. However, he echoed Vesper's calls against making premature judgments. "One can't condemn her out of hand," he said. "We never had any indications that there was anything to the accusations."
Indeed, accusations against the German rower are not new, according to the German public broadcaster NDR. It says that rumors were already making the rounds last year that Drygalla was in a relationship with a leading member of "National Socialists Rostock," a regional neo-Nazi organization, who also frequently contributed to a website associated with the NPD. Drygalla subsequently left the police force in September 2011, reportedly of her own volition.
Intellpuke: This article is a compilation of reporting by Spiegel journalists and various news agencies; you can read it in context here: www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-rower-drygalla-leaves-olympics-due-to-suspected-neo-nazi-ties-a-848042.html