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OLYMPICS

German Olympic horse disqualified for doping

German doping scandals have moved from two wheels to four hooves. Olympic equestrian medal favorite Christian Ahlmann has been disqualified from the games in Beijing for allegedly doping his horse.

German Olympic horse disqualified for doping
Christian Ahlmann rides Cöster in a recent Beijing event. Photo: DPA

German sports news service SID reported that Ahlmann has been suspended from his individual jumping event after his gelding Cöster tested positive for illegal substances on August 17. Ahlmann had been a medal favorite for his event on August 21.

The 33-year-old was European champion twice in 2003, but will now be subject to new Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) doping rules, the sports news service reported. Cöster had the substance capsaicin in his bloodstream, the FEI legal department told SID. The substance is derived from chili peppers and is used topically to increase blood circulation.

Despite the scandal, Germany still has the most wins for equestrian events in Beijing with five medals, FEI reported on Thursday.

OLYMPICS

Germany’s Interior Minister rules out ‘unthinkable’ bid to host 2036 Olympics

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has ruled out a bid to host the 2036 Olympics, saying in an interview that it would be "unthinkable" on the 100th anniversary of the Nazi-era 1936 Games in Berlin.

Germany's Interior Minister rules out 'unthinkable' bid to host 2036 Olympics
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. Photo: DPA

Held three years before the outbreak of the Second World War, the 1936 games are widely remembered as a propaganda coup for Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

In March this year, Berlin's state minister of the interior Andreas Geisel faced heavy criticism after he appeared to suggest Berlin should bid for the 2036 Olympics in an interview with Tagesspiegel newspaper.

However, the 69-year-old Seehofer, whose ministry also holds the sports portfolio, said Germany could not be seen to celebrate the centenary of the Nazi-era Berlin Olympics.

“It would be unthinkable. If we did that, we would bring on an unspeakable international discussion and harm the Olympic idea,” he told Frankfurt-based newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) in an interview published on Monday.

“How would people see it across the world? Germany celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Nazi Olympics? That cannot happen.”

Aside from concerns over associations with the Nazi regime, there is scant public support for hosting the Olympics in Germany.

READ ALSO: Interior Ministry begs for more cash after 'forgetting' landmark reunification celebration

Public referendums, in 2015 and 2013, rejected proposed Olympic bids to host the summer games in Hamburg and a winter edition in Munich respectively.

Seehofer said that he was generally in favour of a German Olympic bid, but voiced concern that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had become too focused on commercial success.

“In the eyes of the public, the IOC has wandered too far from its original idea and into commercialism,” he told the FAZ.

He called on the IOC to “de-commercialise” and said he had “a lot of sympathy” for the German Athletes' Commission, which last year demanded that the IOC share a quarter of its profits with Olympic participants.

By Kit Holden

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