• Germany's news in English

German fencer skewers Olympic boards

The Local · 23 Jul 2012, 10:59

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd