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Gymnastics scandal: "Chemnitz only seems to be the tip of the iceberg"


The Chemnitz gymnastics affair has now also occupied the Bundestag's sports committee. The German Gymnastics Federation suggested that coaches should in future be employed directly by the top sports associations.

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Gymnastics star Pauline Schäfer

Photo: Julia Rahn / Pressefoto Baumann / imago images

The sports committee of the German Bundestag dealt on Wednesday with the Chemnitz gymnastics scandal involving trainer Gabriele Frehse.

Specifically, it was about "Consequences for training structures from the incidents at OSP Sachsen / Bundesstützpunkt Chemnitz".

Numerous officials testified before the committee.

Alfons Hölzl, President of the German Gymnastics Federation (DTB), repeated his call for Frehse to be dismissed: "I assume that the Olympic base will make the right decisions as an employer," said Hölzl: "I am very optimistic."

It must be about the protection of children and young people.

"We are currently trying to secure the training on site," said Hölzl.

At his hearing, he also suggested that coaches should in future be employed by the top sports associations instead of at the Olympic bases.

»Unfortunately part of our gymnastics reality«

During the session, DTB athletes spokeswoman Kim Bui paid the gymnasts great respect for "telling their stories publicly."

According to the SPIEGEL reports, she was "significantly not as shaken by the incidents as many an outsider, because unfortunately they are part of our gymnastics reality."

Incidents like the one in Chemnitz revealed »a system that covers serious misconduct by those responsible so that sporting goals can be achieved.

Chemnitz only seems to be the tip of the iceberg «.

The chairman of the OSP Saxony, Christian Dahms, said the athletes were "psychologically affected" by the situation.

In response to the DTB's request to dismiss Frehse as a trainer at the base, Dahms said: If a dismissal in court passed, the trainer would be dismissed.

If the process is lost, however, the OPS threatens bankruptcy.

At the end of last year, more than a dozen female athletes reported in SPIEGEL that they had been mentally abused by Frehse in Chemnitz, sometimes for years.

Some of them were given strong painkillers, or they were driven into the eating disorder.

Among them was the 2017 world champion, Pauline Schäfer.

Frehse denies the allegations.

In the meantime, the public prosecutor's office is dealing with the case, the Chemnitz investigating authorities have filed a criminal complaint against Frehse and a base doctor on suspicion of bodily harm and mistreatment of wards.

The trainer is also threatened with civil law consequences.

Frehse had recently addressed the committee members with an open letter.

In it she stated that "it was never my intention to communicate with the gymnasts I trained in a way that they might perceive as" psychological abuse "".

If some of the gymnasts nevertheless perceived it that way, "I am sincerely sorry and I apologize to the people in question."

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Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-02-24

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