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Germany ditches rower over 'neo-Nazi lover'

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Germany ditches rower over 'neo-Nazi lover'
Nadja Drygalla, second from left. Photo: DPA
11:03 CEST+02:00
A female rower on Germany's Olympic team has left London after rumours surfaced that she was in a relationship with a neo-Nazi.

Nadja Drygalla, 23, left after a long conversation with German Olympic officials about the allegations that her boyfriend was a leading member of the “Rostock National Socialists” and had fought a state election for a neo-Nazi party.

“Ms Drygalla declared at the end of our conversation that she would leave the Olympic village in order not to be a burden for the Olympic team. The German Rowing Association welcomes this decision,” said Michael Vesper chef de Mission of the German Olympic Association.

The rumours had also led to Drygalla leaving her training position with the police, Die Welt newspaper reported on Friday.

Vesper said the rower had distanced herself from far-right ideas during their 90-minute conversation with the rower, which he described as very emotional.

And although he was not fighting for her to remain, Die Welt reported that Vesper said what was important was her position, not that of anyone else. “I have no doubts that she not only stands for the German constitution but also Olympic values,” he said.

“She explained things from her point of view. I made clear to her the problem. We spoke intensely about the whole development and also discussed her opinions,” he said.

And he stressed that it would be unfair to define people by those around them. It was not his job to investigate the relationships of athletes, he added – but welcomed Drygalla’s early departure from the Olympics.

The Local/jcw

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