German rower quits Olympics over ‘Neo-Nazi’ boyfriend - Israel Culture, Ynetnews

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Dishonorable Departure

Nazi sympathizer? Nadja Drygalla Photo: Reuters
Nazi sympathizer? Nadja Drygalla Photo: Reuters

German rower quits Olympics over ‘Neo-Nazi’ boyfriend

Nadja Drygalla has voluntarily left Olympic village after it was revealed that her boyfriend was a leading member of a far-right extremist group

Published: 08.03.12, 17:37 / Israel Culture

German rower Nadja Drygalla has left the Olympic village after it emerged that her boyfriend was a member of a neo-Nazi far-right extremist group.


Drygalla's boyfriend is reportedly a leading member of the "Rostock National Socialists", who has apparently fought a state election for the far-right National Democratic Party.


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The German Olympic Committee said Drygalla - who had already finished competing at the Games as part of the women's rowing eight - left of her own accord after a 90-minute conversation with German officials.


German officials did not go into the reasons for her departure, referring only to findings on the athlete's "private environment", but German media reported that the 23-year-old former police officer was suspected of sympathizing with neo-Nazi ideology.


Germany's intelligence agency describes the party as racist, anti-Semitic and inspired by the Nazis. Its local election campaigns blame immigrants for crime and unemployment and its supporters are mostly unemployed young men with little education in depressed areas of the east.


"Miss Drygalla confirmed credibly her commitment to the Olympic Charter," the head of Germany's committee Michael Vesper said. "She is leaving the Olympic Village so as not to be a burden for the team."


The German rowing federation said in a statement it welcomed Drygalla's decision.


"We will have another conversation with Nadja Drygalla in August after the Olympic Games. After that we will decide together with her how to proceed," said Siegfried Kaidel, the head of the federation.


Mark Adams, spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, said Drygalla had done nothing wrong at the Games: "There is no issue for us regarding the rower. I have seen the report. But as far as the Games are concerned, she has not done anything wrong."





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