After the allegations of abuse by the former world-class water jumper Jan Hempel against his former coach became known, further cases were reported to the German Swimming Association. “There are still cases every day. I can’t say how many,” said DSV competitive sports director Christian Hansmann on Sunday at the European Championships in Italy.
“Many injured parties and victims have contacted our prevention officer. That means that everything is now being compiled and documented in order to show how we deal with it internally.” Hansmann emphasized that all cases are being investigated.
In a documentary by ARD entitled “Abused – Sexualized Violence in German Swimming”, Hempel, who came second at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, reports in moving words on allegations of sexual abuse against his former coach Werner Langer, who has died in the meantime.
From 1982 to 1996 he was repeatedly sexually abused by Langer. In 1997, Hempel said he informed the national coach at the time about the incident. He accuses the German Swimming Association of having handled the situation incorrectly at the time.
“Of course the allegations are very serious. We check them both internally and externally with advice,” said Hansmann. He referred to numerous offers from the association for those affected. As a first measure, the DSV suspended Lutz Buschkow, national diving coach, who had been accused by Hempel of having known about the abuse cases.
“We have to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “We are in the process of revolutionizing trainer training, bringing in this topic of sexualized violence from the state level to the federal level.” Hansmann added: “There must be mandatory training for employees in the DSV. There are already some offers. We have to push this even harder now and make it mandatory to prevent it and not let it happen again.”