In the German Rowing Association (DRV), tensions are growing between athletes and the leadership of the association. Like the one-man driver Oliver Zeidler before him, his sister Marie-Sophie Zeidler was also heavily critical. “There is a breach of trust. I don’t see any basis for further cooperation at the moment,” said the 23-year-old previous crew member of the quad four to the “Donaukurier” on Friday and explained her decision not to participate in the World Championships from September 18th to 25th in Racice (Czech Republic).
She was reacting to a crisis talk with the association’s leadership after the disappointing sixth place of the quad at the recent European Championships at home in Munich. “We were the only ones to blame. It was sometimes insulting and personal,” complained Marie-Sophie Zeidler. Objective arguments put forward by the rowers about the late occupation of the boats, the lack of training control and the structures of the association were not heard: “I couldn’t finish speaking, I was almost shouted at. It’s disrespectful and shows me that my opinion doesn’t count. The DRV does not want mature athletes.”
Even before and after the weak performance of the German rowers at the European Championships in Munich with only one bronze medal (Alexandra Föster in the women’s singles) in the 14 Olympic boat classes, the former singles world champion Oliver Zeidler had found clear words. The 26-year-old complained that the “leading positions in rowing really have no idea what’s going on at our bases,” said Zeidler after his fourth place in the single.
Even before the EM he had criticized. Among other things, he accused the sports director of the DRV, Mario Woldt, of nominating “by postal code” and preferring athletes from Hamburg. Woldt replied: “We nominate for performance, we nominate for suitability in team boats.”
DRV President Motritz Petri described the poor performance as the “bitter demise of our fleet”. He finds Zeidler’s criticism justified “in part”. “What rowing Germany needs now is a lot of courage. courage to question yourself. What do we actually have to change in our structures? In our training?” he asked.