The German Swimming Association (DSV) has commissioned an independent committee to deal with cases of sexualised violence and is thus responding to criticism of the previous handling of the topic. The team of experts will initially collect findings for one year and then report that the costs incurred will be guaranteed from the association's budget.
This was announced by the DSV. "We always emphasize how important the safety and well-being of all members is to us," said DSV Vice President Wolfgang Rupieper: "That's why we are glad that we can now begin the process of dealing with the allegations of sexualized violence mentioned in the ARD documentary."
Allegation of abuse
Among others, the former diver Jan Hempel had reported in the documentary of years of sexual abuse by a coach and accused the DSV of having known about it, but not acted. "As an association, we want to deal transparently with mistakes in the past and do everything we can to prevent further such incidents," Rupieper said. In addition, the DSV wants to live up to its responsibility towards those affected with this approach.
The panel includes sports sociologist Bettina Rulofs and lawyer Martin Nolte, head of the Institute for Sports Law at the German Sport University Cologne. Rulofs has already published important studies on sexual and interpersonal violence in elite and popular sport and is regarded in Germany as a leading expert in the field. They are entering "new territory with the reappraisal team for organized sport" and are "aware of the special responsibility," she said.