DOSB President Alfons Hörmann: "We miss respect and fair play every day"
Daniel Reinhardt / picture alliance / dpa
After the German Football Association (DFB), the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) also has its leadership crisis. In a paper sent out on Thursday, anonymous authors, who say they are employees of the DOSB, are calling for more than just the resignation of President Alfons Hörmann (CSU): »Change is needed! Above all, however, a new culture is needed within the DOSB. It can not go on like this!"
The explosive power of writing is enormous. According to information from SPIEGEL, there was a spontaneous meeting of employees in the afternoon at the DOSB headquarters on the Otto-Fleck-Schneise in Frankfurt am Main - almost at the same time as the date of the team clothing for the German team for the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, which was broadcast online. The mood is described as troubled. At the same time, those association representatives who have been working behind the scenes for months on replacing Hörmann and want to build a promising candidate for election at the general meeting at the end of 2022 feel confirmed.
It cracks all over the place.
Only a few weeks ago, the IOC had asked Hörmann to apologize for his statements on the 2032 Olympic application: Only if Hörmann stopped spreading "misinformation", only if the "incorrect statements" were corrected, the IOC would again be with the DOSB on an Olympic project negotiate.
“Under the leadership of the current president, a 'culture of fear' has established itself among the staff at the DOSB.
Differing opinions are (at best) ironed out and (at worst) exposed. "
From the open letter to the head of the DOSB
The brilliant, anonymous letter is addressed to the presidium and board of the DOSB as well as the DOSB works council and was also sent to a number of journalists. “Under the leadership of the current president, a 'culture of fear' has established itself among the staff at the DOSB. Differing opinions are (at best) ironed out and (at worst) exposed. And so we are also afraid. Fear of having to reckon with consequences under labor law when naming our names, perhaps even of losing our job, «it says. Allegedly "more than a third of the employees of the DOSB" are behind this paper.
According to the current report of the Presidium, 207 people work in the DOSB office - that was the status in September 2020, since then there have been terminations and farewells to deserving employees.
Some examples are mentioned in the email.
We are talking about bullying and a catastrophic atmosphere in the "House of Sports" in Frankfurt.
»We miss respect and fair play every day in our management bodies, especially with our President Alfons Hörmann.
For us employees, an almost endless series of dubious behaviors, characterized by condescending demeanor, has led us to want to make our voice audible, ”the letter says.
Alfons Hörmann has been President of the DOSB since 2013
Photo: imago images / MIS
Hörmann's leadership and communication style has been causing serious upsets both internally and externally for years. »Employees quit because of such behavior; others are in psychotherapeutic treatment. It can not go on like this. It cannot go on like this, ”the letter asserts. Various media had researched such termination cases in recent months. In response to a request from SPIEGEL, a media lawyer commissioned by the DOSB announced in March: “Our clients generally do not provide any information on personal decisions made by individual employees.” In addition, the lawyer announced on behalf of the DOSB President: “There are no accusations against Mr. Hörmann, which is why the DOSB's ethics committee did not or does not have to deal with these. "
The situation has now changed. The so-called ethics committee of the DOSB is headed by the former Federal Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU). The three-person commission also includes the biathlon Olympic champion Kati Wilhelm and the lawyer Hansjörg Geiger. Geiger was previously a Stasi officer at the DOSB, in the 1990s he was director of the Gauck authority, then president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and president of the Federal Intelligence Service. The next meeting of the ethics committee is June 18th.
According to the rules of procedure, the ethics committee should actually take action and initiate preliminary proceedings against Hörmann and other DOSB executives.
The rules of procedure say, among other things: "If the ethics committee becomes aware of the suspicion of a violation, it has to decide whether to initiate the main proceedings and to objectively investigate the facts." The protection of the whistleblower, des possible victim and the person concerned "should be ensured" through appropriate measures.
The ethics committee should take action
The senders of the paper remain anonymous.
The content of the letter sounds like inside knowledge.
The DOSB claims that the letter was sent from a "fake mail account".
However, it is correct: The e-mail was sent from an account of the provider Mailfence, which advertises a "secure and confidential e-mail service".
This is a generally accepted method of choice in cases where the sender values anonymity.
DOSB communicators spread the reading that the incriminating letter was not circulated by DOSB employees.
Some detailed descriptions from the DOSB headquarters speak against this unfounded thesis.
Either way, that doesn't change the fact that the ethics committee would have to act.
That could cost Hörmann his office in the end.
"After the accusations that have been publicly in the room since today, German sport cannot simply go back to the agenda, even with a view to the upcoming games in Tokyo."
Dagmar Freitag, Chairwoman of the Sports Committee in the German Bundestag
Dagmar Freitag (SPD), the chairman of the sports committee in the German Bundestag, gave the SPIEGEL for the record: “Assuming the authenticity of the letter that became known today, after the DFB with the DOSB as the umbrella organization for German sports, another association may now be tumbling into a veritable one Management crisis. «And:» After the accusations that have been publicly in the room since today, German sport cannot simply go back to the agenda with a view to the upcoming games in Tokyo, but must be very interested in a speedy clarification of the matter itself . "
The authors of the paper state that they made a conscious decision to "communicate the subject outside of the works council." You respect »the personal commitment of all committee members for the sport. However, this commitment is worthless as long as the most important basic rule of sport is constantly trampled underfoot: respectful cooperation. «A respectful and dignified interaction in the DOSB microcosm is not negotiable.