After former world-class diver Jan Hempel, 51, made allegations of abuse against his former coach, further incidents were reported to the German Swimming Association. “There are still cases every day, I can’t say how many,” DSV competitive sports director Christian Hansmann said at the European Championships in Rome on Sunday. “Many affected parties and victims have contacted our prevention officer. This means that everything is now collected and documented to show how we treat it internally.” Hansman stressed that all cases are being investigated.
In an ARD documentary entitled “Raised – sexual abuse in German swimming”, Hempel, a silver medalist at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, gave a moving account of allegations of sexual abuse against his former coach Werner Langer, who has since died. Between 1982 and 1996, she was repeatedly sexually abused by Langer. In 1997, Hempel said he reported the incident to the national coach. He accuses the German Swimming Association of mishandling the situation at the time. On Thursday, DSV suspended national diving coach Lutz Buschkov, who had already worked at DSV in 1997 and, according to Hempel, knew about the allegations but did nothing.
Do associations have financial consequences if they don’t?
“Of course, the accusations are very serious, we are investigating them both internally and externally,” said Hansman. He referred to the association’s many proposals for victims. “We have to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “We’re in the process of revolutionizing coach training by taking this topic of sexual assault from the state to the federal level.” Hansman added: “Mandatory training should be conducted for DSV employees. There are already a number of suggestions. We now need to make it stronger and make it mandatory to prevent this from happening again.”
Meanwhile, politicians are increasing pressure and threatening to cut public funding. At least, this is what the Parliamentary State Secretary responsible for sports of the Federal Ministry of the Interior Mahmut Ozdemir (SPD) pointed out in an article published on the ARD sports show on Sunday. An association that does not follow the requirements and conditions of funding, “that tolerates sexual violence, doping or other interpersonal violence, does not explain, hides it; such associations should not receive a single cent of tax money,” Ozdemir said. but without a specific DSV to blame for these things. DSV sports director Christian Hansmann said earlier on the sidelines of the European Swimming Championships in Italy that there could be consequences for the association, such as financial cuts; “Of course it is to be feared.”