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Olympic hero in doghouse over shooting

Published: 09 Nov 2012 11:43 GMT+01:00

President Joachim Gauck on Wednesday presented all Germany's Olympic and Paralympic medal winners with the Silver Laurel Leaf for their services to Germany. But there was one notable absence.

The 22-year-old Storl was denied the honour because he shot at a dog with an air rifle in an ill-advised incident a year before the Games, Bild newspaper reported on Thursday.

Storl was reportedly seen taking pot-shots at the dog with a friend on June 2, 2011, at his training ground in Chemnitz. He was training to be a police officer at the time - and although the dog's owner reportedly decided not to to press charges, the incident was recorded in Storl's file.

That is apparently where the presidential office learned of the event, and it appears to have cost Storl a handshake from the president.

"It is a case-by-case check - the severity of the misdemeanour, whether there are victims, and how long ago the incident happened are all taken into account," a spokesman for the president said.

"I don't want to comment on it anymore," Storl told the paper. "I can only say that I have regretted it for a long time."

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:07 November 9, 2012 by raandy
Hindsight is always 20/20
19:38 November 9, 2012 by SusannahM
An animal abuser can NEVER be a hero. He deserves punishment more than just denial of a state honor.
00:09 November 10, 2012 by TRJ
I agree with Susannah. Animal abuser and hero are two concepts that do not go together. More concerning is what this says about this man's capacity to commit worse acts in the future. Countless studies show that it is common for sociopaths commiting violent crimes against people to have had a history of committing animal abuse and torture. That would make him the LAST person who should have police powers. I hope they declared him unfit for the service.
00:22 November 10, 2012 by grazhdanin
So I guess the dog was worth living, while the animals that are used to produce dog food are not.
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