German rower leaves over neo-Nazism
A 23-year-old woman on the German Olympic rowing team has left the Village over her alleged connection to neo-Nazis, her own Olympic committee has announced.
"The team management welcomes this step," German chief of mission Michael Vesper says.
The German Olympic Committee and the German Rowing Association insisted rower Nadja Drygalla believed in and upheld the values of the Olympic Charter. Still, the two groups said, she decided to leave to spare her team the embarrassment.
Vesper announced Drygalla had left on Thursday and he held a news conference today to elaborate.
"If we had had even the slightest indication that someon ein our squad was xenophobic, this person wouldn't have been on the Olympic squad," he told the German sports news agency SID.
Drygalla is allegedly romantically involved with Michael Fischer, a member of the far-right National Democratic Party, in her hometown of Rostock. The newspaper Der Spiegel describes the party as racist and extremist, but still legal.
Vesper says authorities only learned of the connection Thursday and had a 90-minute "detailed and intense conversation" with Drygalla, Der Spiegel reports.