• Germany's news in English
 
Scandals besmirch end to world athletics championships
US hurdle jumper Bershawn Jackson post-race in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Scandals besmirch end to world athletics championships

Published: 24 Aug 2009 11:14 GMT+02:00

Six track and field stars – among them 26-year-old US bronze medallist Bershawn Jackson – were arrested early on Sunday morning in Berlin after attacking three bouncers.

The 400-metre hurdle medallist was out with five other IAAF athletes in a group of 20 post-competition revellers when they tried to enter the “Havanna” club in Berlin’s Schöneberg district around 4 am, daily Berliner Kurier reported on Monday.

Bouncers told the group, which also included athletes from Cuba and the Bahamas, to wait in the foyer because the club was too full to accept new patrons. The athletes reacted angrily, and began throwing bottles when they were kicked out, the paper said.

Injuries to three doormen included a cranial contusion, a cervical spine injury and a split lip.

Jackson and two athletes from the Bahamas spent the night in jail and were released on Monday. They will be allowed to leave the country, but police are investigating them for disturbing the peace and assault. They face a suspended sentence.

The other athletes were Cuban bronze medallist and triple jumper Alexis Copello (24), Cuban decathlon silver medallist Leonel Suarez (21), triple jumper Leevan Sands (28) from the Bahamas, his hurdle jumper cousin Shamar Sands (24), and Bahamian high jumper Donald Thomas (25).

Meanwhile politicians were enraged on Saturday after disparaging comments about a part of eastern Berlin by public broadcaster sport reporter Wolf-Dieter Poschmann during the women’s’ hammer throw finals.

“If someone grew up in Marzahn and lived through it undamaged, then they are capable of anything,” Poschmann said of German athlete Betty Heidler, who grew up in the notoriously gritty working-class district.

Petra Pau, a high-ranking MP for The Left party from Marzahn-Hellersdorf roots told news agency DPA that the district had produced “many talented artists, athletes and Paralympics victors.”

“What we don’t need is arrogant disdain from the West,” she said of the formerly East Berlin district.

Marzahn Mayor Barbara Pohle told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung that she invited Poschmann to come visit the district.

“I truly regret that journalists for public broadcasters, who themselves have probably never set foot in the district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, discredit the residents in this way,” Pohle told the paper.

The two scandals come in addition to Berlin discus thrower's Robert Harting's defamatory comments about athletes who were victims of systemic doping under the communist regime in former East Germany. There was also controversy surrounding South African runner Caster Semanya's near refusal to accept her 800-metre race gold medal after being ordered to take a gender test.

But there was at least one happy story at the end of the championships, after Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt was presented with a giant piece of the Berlin Wall on Sunday.

Bolt, who won gold in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m and shattered his own world records in the individual sprints, was presented with a part of the famous Cold War symbol by Berlin city mayor Klaus Wowereit.

"I'll be delighted to have this gift at my house. I will never forget Berlin," said the 23-year-old Bolt. "I didn't realise (the piece of the Wall) was going to be so big," added the triple Olympic champion.

Bolt's piece of the Wall measures 4.3 square metres and weighs 2.7 tonnes. It will be delivered to Jamaica by ship in the next three weeks, said Wowereit.

"Usain Bolt himself has brought walls down with his world records. We are presenting him with a piece of the Wall to thank him for his fantastic performances," said the mayor.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Breakthrough' in train strike: union
Stranded passengers during the train strike Photo: DPA

'Breakthrough' in train strike: union

The head of the train drivers union GDL claimed a "breakthrough" late Wednesday in talks with Deutsche Bahn, which may herald the end of a spate of train strikes which have caused travelling misery and cost the rail operator around 100 million euros. READ  

Opinion
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
The baroque skyline of Dresden Photo: DPA

What does Dresden have against Muslims?

The Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) was unknown three months ago. Now it's making Dresden famous - for all the wrong reasons. READ  

Amazon strike extended to Saturday
Workers at the Amazon distribution centre in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

Amazon strike extended to Saturday

Union Verdi announced on Wednesday that its members at two Amazon distribution centres would extend a planned three-day strike through the rest of the week, while four more sites saw new walkouts. READ  

Russia in clear over death of German MP
The late German parliamentarian Andreas Schockenhoff Photo: DPA

Russia in clear over death of German MP

A post-mortem on a prominent German MP and critic of Vladimir Putin showed no signs of foul play, prosecutors said Wednesday. READ  

'Tear Down This Plaque' row over GDR sign
Former East German leader and "comrade" Erich Honecker Photo: DPA

'Tear Down This Plaque' row over GDR sign

A historic Berlin museum is facing calls to pull down a plaque commemorating the former East German communist leader Erich Honecker. READ  

'Reform business inheritance tax' court tells MPs
Presiding judge Ferdinand Kirchhof announcing the decision on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

'Reform business inheritance tax' court tells MPs

Judges at the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said on Wednesday that the government must change rules reducing tax on inherited family-owned businesses within 18 months. READ  

Cabinet agrees to send 100 army trainers to Iraq
A German soldier training a Kurdish fighter with the German-made G3 rifle. Photo: DPA

Cabinet agrees to send 100 army trainers to Iraq

MPs in the Bundestag will vote in January on a controversial plan to send 100 soldiers to Iraq to train Kurdish fighters battling terrorist group Isis. READ  

Germany's Homer Simpson is actually 85
Image: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Germany's Homer Simpson is actually 85

He might be bald, and fat, but onscreen Homer Simpson doesn't look a day over... let's say 45. Unlike the actor who voices Homer for German audiences who is, in fact, 85 and still going strong. READ  

Greens and Left demand follow-up on US torture
Amnesty International demonstrators during a visit by President Obama to Brussels in March 2014. Photo: DPA

Greens and Left demand follow-up on US torture

Opposition parties are calling for the government to adopt a harsher stance towards the USA after the US Senate published a report into CIA torture last week. READ  

'The Hoff' to star in NYE at Brandenburg Gate
A wax figure of Hasselhoff in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: DPA

'The Hoff' to star in NYE at Brandenburg Gate

David Hasselhoff will sing to a crowd of hundreds of thousands to see in the New Year at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate - the same spot where he famously sang "Looking for Freedom" after the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Sponsored Article
Ever wanted to try out home exchange?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,153
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd