Wednesday March 31, 2021
Trouble because of “frivolous report”
DSV produces bizarre staff posse
DSV produces bizarre staff posse
The German Swimming Association does not come to rest after separating from its competitive sports director. The successor only stays in office for 24 hours, then he has to leave again. Probably also due to pressure from athletes and employees.
A seven year old advertising photo is causing big waves in German swimming. Three bare-breasted women, surrounded by five stately water polo players, hold up a terrycloth bathrobe on which the logo of the large Berlin brothel “Artemis” can be clearly seen. At the bottom left of the picture, Dirk Klingenberg crouches with his chest out.
The promotion from 2014 is now the undoing of the 190-time water polo national player. Just one day after his official appointment as competitive sports director of the German Swimming Association (DSV), Klingenberg’s post was withdrawn. The “frivolous report” from Klingenberg’s past was “incompatible with the high moral standards of the umbrella association,” it said as a reason in a DSV press release.
Klingenberg initially suspected a premature April Fool’s joke. “I honestly thought it was April 1st,” said the 51-year-old: “I feel like a pawn sacrifice.” The accusation of sexism, which one could deduce from the process, was “completely out of thin air in order to make politics against me”, said Klingenberg: “There is no corpse in my cellar, only this one photo.”
“… especially nothing forbidden”
And that was also known to the management consultant Michael Rosenbaum, who recommended the DSV when selecting the sports director. “The photo may have a taste, but it is nothing reprehensible and certainly nothing forbidden”, defended Klingenberg: “They were convinced of me professionally.”
And yet it was enough for the DSV to withdraw the appointment, which is an embarrassing farce for outsiders. But internally there should have been pressure from swimmers and DSV employees. According to the latest allegations of abuse in the association, the topic is a highly sensitive one, especially since the DSV is threatened with a dispute before the labor court with the previous competitive sports director Thomas Kurschilgen.
Kurschilgen had to vacate his post because, according to the association’s point of view, he should not have adequately followed up on indications of suspected abuse. Kurschilgens lawyer Jan Friedrich Beckmann told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” about the accusation: “It is not even possible to recognize which breach of duty could justify an exemption or an extraordinary termination by the DSV board.” The role backwards in the Klingenberg case is also likely to have occurred with a view to the possible process with Kurschilgen.
“I feel sorry for athletes”
Klingenberg cannot understand the official explanation. “How do you define ‘high moral standards’? If an athlete undresses for Playboy, is that also immoral?” Said the 1996 Olympian. He wishes the DSV every success with the realignment, “the athletes and I do Athletes are sorry, they should actually be the focus, but instead the association is again cast in a bad light. “
The competitive swimmers will jump into the water again from next weekend, the competition in Heidelberg is the start of the four-part Olympic qualification. But the biggest waves are hit again away from the pool. Free water relay world champion Sarah Köhler, who already has her Tokyo ticket in her pocket, had already spoken of “uncertainty, unrest and also fear” after separating from Kurschilgen.