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Athlete names and shames stalker online

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Photo: DPA
15:31 CEST+02:00
Top athlete Ariane Friedrich had enough of being stalked and took the matter into her own hands last week. Now she has defended the decision to name and shame her stalker online.

“I’ve been offended in the past, sexually harassed and I’ve had a stalker before,” wrote Friedrich on Saturday on her Facebook page, where she posted the name and email address of the man who sent her a photo of his genitals in an email.

“It’s time to act, it’s time to defend myself. And that’s what I’m doing. No more and no less,” wrote the 28-year-old German high-jump record holder from Frankfurt.

Friedrich, who is currently preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, said she is planning to bring charges against the man who sent her the indecent email.

Publishing the man’s name, email and home address was a big step, admitted Friedrich, who is a police officer by profession. Still, she said, it isn’t the first time she’s received a “brazen” email like that from a fan.

Going public, she said, was “a way of making clear that I am prepared to act.” The athelete received a large amount of encouragement from her fans on her Facebook page for her “brave” act.

Other users criticised the decision, comparing those who supported it to the Facebook bullies who had called for the lynching of a falsely accused suspect in the recent case of a murdered young girl.

Her manager and trainer Günter Eisinger has tried to play down the scandal and is concerned that the incident will negatively affect the athelete’s preparations for London 2012.

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“The issue has nothing to do with the public,” he said on Saturday. “We can do without any stress factors.”

DPA/jlb

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