• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

German fencer skewers Olympic boards

The Local · 23 Jul 2012, 10:59

Published: 23 Jul 2012 10:59 GMT+02:00

Duplitzer, a silver medallist at the 2004 Games in Athens and a member of the fencing team for London 2012, said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has sold out the Games for commercial interests.

"They're developing their own values and rules that are moving further and further from the Olympic spirit," she said in an interview with Monday’s Bild newspaper. "Who doesn't like watching the flame being lit, or a child carrying a dove through the stadium, with dramatic music, with all those sentimental buttons being pushed? The sport is just a sideshow."

The 36-year-old added, "The IOC presents itself as something noble, helpful and good - then frankly they should behave like it.

“Unfortunately the opposite is true. Banks get sued now if they've lied in their brochures. The IOC sells its shiny wares, and lies until the cows come home. But no-one is interested. The world likes being taken for a ride."

Duplitzer reserved particular ire for the IOC's ban on athletes sponsoring products during the Games, while the organizing bodies benefit from huge sponsorship deals. "I think it's an outrage, and extremely unfair on the athletes," she said. "But it's not been about the athletes for a long time."

She also said the doping controls at the Olympics were a joke. "If you have a bit of money for medication, a good doctor, and a lax federation, you'll never be caught," she said.

"The doping hunters can only test for what they know. If you take a fifth generation EPO [performance enhancing drug Erythropoietin] made in some rat lab in China, you can gobble down as much of it as you like and you won't get a positive test. Only the idiots get caught."

Duplitzer also took some time to swipe at the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB).

"The performances are getting worse and worse, because the system is completely broken," she said. "After these Olympics we're going to have a huge problem raising new talent. We already have a massive coach problem. Our coaches are running away, because they can earn a lot more in other countries and have better conditions."

DOSB spokesman Christian Klaue told Die Welt newspaper that there was no official reaction from the DOSB to the interview. "The interview speaks for itself," he said. "But I don't think that she will be excluded from the team because of it."

Duplitzer said she had been inundated with support after the interview's appearance. "My Facebook profile nearly exploded, and I got a lot of emails from coaches and athletes who said, 'It's great that you said something,' " she told state broadcaster ZDF on Monday.

Story continues below…

"No-one wants to open their mouth, because they don't want to be thrown out of the support system," she said. "And it is very difficult to question the existing structures." But she said athletes should not just be treated as people who "just hold the flag up at the Olympics a bit."

The Local/DPA/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

06:43 July 25, 2012 by wenddiver
A woman with a sword and a bad attitude, pretty exciting!
15:41 July 27, 2012 by Kladow Blue
Good for her.

The cocacolympics use the players and the watchers as part of a huge consumer marketing campaign, with states complicit.
20:32 August 1, 2012 by coffeelover
Imke Duplitzer, thank you for being honest. Looks like the Olympics are now fully commercialized, and greedy for every single ad dollar is IOC to the point they forgot if not for athletes, there would be no games.
Today's headlines
The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

Gallery
15 pics that prove Germany is totally enchanting in autumn
The Max-Eyth-See in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

As summer fades into a distant memory and you start to begrudge trading Birkenstocks for boots, these pictures may help change your perspective on the new chill in the air.

Left politician who smuggled refugee could lose immunity
Diether Dehm. Photo: DPA.

Die Linke (Left Party) politician Diether Dehm could lose his immunity as an elected official after he admitted to smuggling a refugee into Germany.

Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record in Berlin marathon win
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,513
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd