German rower leaves village over far-right ties

Nadja Drygalla leaves Olympic village "so as not to burden the team," after claims that her boyfriend is a Nazi sympathizer.

By JTA
August 4, 2012 09:18
1 minute read.
German rower Nadja Drygalla

German rower Nadja Drygalla 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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A German Olympic rower has left the Olympic Village following claims that her boyfriend is a member of an extremist political party inspired by the Nazis.

Nadja Drygalla, who had already finished competing at the Games as part of the women’s rowing eight team reportedly left Friday of her own accord after a 90-minute conversation with German officials.

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“Miss Drygalla confirmed credibly her commitment to the Olympic Charter,” the head of Germany’s committee Michael Vesper said, according to Reuters. “She is leaving the Olympic Village so as not to be a burden for the team.”

Media reports said her boyfriend was a leading member of a regional National Socialist group, the “Rostock National Socialists,” and had worked in a state election for the far-right National Democratic Party. Germany’s intelligence agency describes the NDP as racist, anti-Semitic and inspired by the Nazis.

The German rowing federation reportedly said in a statement that it welcomed Drygalla’s decision to leave early and would investigate the matter after the Olympics.

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Mark Adams, spokesman for the International Olympic Committee said Drygalla had done nothing wrong at the Games, according to Reuters.

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“There is no issue for us regarding the rower. I have seen the report. But as far as the Games are concerned, she has not done anything wrong,” Adams said, reported Reuters.

Drygalla’s early departure from London is not the first time that racism has been a topic of conversation during the 2012 Olympics. Before the Games even got underway, Greek triple jumper Voulu Papachristou was expelled from her national team for a racist tweet.

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