I was abused by coach for years: Ex German diver Hempel

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I was abused by coach for years: Ex German diver Hempel

Germany's former world class high diver Jan Hempel, an Olympic medalist, has claimed he was sexually abused by his coach over several years, reported dpa.

In a documentary by broadcaster ARD 'Abused – Sexualised Violence in German Swimming', the 10-metre platform silver medallist from the 1996 Atlanta Games gave his first public account of the accusations against his former coach Werner Langer, who died in 2001.

"I was abused by my coach," said the 50-year-old Hempel, who said he was abused 1982-1996. "He never missed a moment to not give free rein to his desires and needs."

Hempel said he defended himself against Langer for the first time before the 1996 Games and reported the incidents to the then national coach the following year.

Langer was then suspended because of an alleged Stasi past rather than the alleged abuse. "Everyone kept quiet until today," said Hempel, who is disappointed with the German Swimming Federation (DSV).

"I had to feel in my own body for many years that only sporting success is important to the DSV and that everything else, whether health or any kind of problem, is actually put completely to the back," he said.

The DSV said it would make a statement. ARD reported that the current leadership of the federation had learned about Hempel's accusations from the broadcaster.

Hempel also reported that Langer had abused him in a stadium toilet before the 1992 Olympic high diving final in Barcelona.

Another athlete, who wished to remain anonymous, reported in the documentary that Langer had become "physical" with him in his sleep.

Hempel has been diagnosed with incipient Alzheimer's disease. "I notice that more and more is disappearing from my mind," he said. "Now I can still remember things.

"I don't know how much longer that will be the case."

Hempel had already told his wife Ines about it beforehand. "He found it very difficult to talk about it, so he then wrote it down," Ines Hempel reported in the documentary. She had read these notes and said, "Even I cannot heal what has broken the soul."

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