• Germany edition
 
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
Updated: 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?
A Russian tank at a military parade in Moscow in May. Photo: DPA

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?

A foreign policy expert in Chancellor Angela Merkel's own party said on Thursday Russia was fighting a "war" in Ukraine. Despite dozens of phone calls to President Vladimir Putin, Merkel's policy of restraint seems to have completely failed. READ  

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos
Passengers look at messages about the damage this morning at Ostkreuz. Photo: DPA

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos

Travellers in southeast Berlin can expect disruption on the S-Bahn until Sunday morning after an arson attack damaged a cable duct on Thursday morning, affecting services on six lines. READ  

Germanwings' pilots will strike on Friday
Photo: DPA

Germanwings' pilots will strike on Friday

UPDATE: Pilots at Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings are set to strike on Friday, after talks between management and a union broke down on Thursday. READ  

Germany posts weaker job figures
Photo: DPA

Germany posts weaker job figures

Unemployment in Germany remained steady in August, official data showed on Thursday, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy and the eurozone as a whole. READ  

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire
The facade of the Mevlana mosque was badly damaged by smoke from the fire. Photo: DPA

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire

UPDATE: Investigators now believe a fire which damaged a mosque in Berlin earlier in August was started deliberately. READ  

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa
The Haus am Bogensee. Photo: DPA

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa

After two failed attempts, Berlin is trying again to sell the sprawling estate and villa once known as Joseph Goebbels' illicit love nest, but so far, nobody's buying. READ  

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis
Cem Özdemir empties a bucket of water over his head next to a cannabis plant. Photo: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis

What looked like just another ALS ice bucket challenge video has become a political statement after the leader of Germany's Green Party Cem Özdemir confirmed he filmed his clip next to a cannabis plant. READ  

What's next for East Berlin?
Photo: Gehry Partners LLP/Timo Hermann - bbz landschaftsarchitekten/DPA/Living Bauhaus/DPA

What's next for East Berlin?

In the second of a two-part series on Berlin’s future, The Local looks at the major developments in former East Berlin. From palaces to bridges, what’s next for the East? READ  

Germany sends six soldiers to Iraq
A transport plane which carried German aid in Erbil. Photo: DPA

Germany sends six soldiers to Iraq

Germany has sent six soldiers to northern Iraq to coordinate deliveries of aid and military equipment to Kurds fighting Islamist terror group Isis. READ  

Berlin's most expensive flat sells for €5.7 million
Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most luxurious addresses in the city. Photo: DPA

Berlin's most expensive flat sells for €5.7 million

A Berlin property firm has set a city-wide record for the most expensive apartment sold, closing a deal for €5.7 million on a centrally-located penthouse. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
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

1,692
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd