Fourth-Place Medal

German rower leaves London after reported ties to neo-Nazis surface

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

(Getty)

Nadja Drygalla, a German rower who already competed at the Olympics, is on her way home from London a bit earlier than she intended. Drygalla decided to leave the Games after reports surfaced that she is connected to a neo-Nazi group in Germany.

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Drygalla's boyfriend is reportedly a leader of the Rostock National Socialists, a group German intelligence describes as neo-Nazi and racist.

"Miss Drygalla confirmed credibly her commitment to the Olympic Charter," the head of Germany's committee Michael Vesper said. "She is leaving the Olympic Village so as not to be a burden for the team."


Drygalla is a member of Germany's women's eight. Her team was eliminated in the repechage round.

This isn't the first time Drygalla has been connected to Germany's far-right. According to German broadcaster DW, she was connected to another neo-Nazi in March of 2011. This forced her to resign from the Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian police force.

Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was expelled by her national organizing committee before the Olympics began for making a racist comment on Twitter. Likewise, a Swiss soccer player was removed from his team for comments about the South Korean team. The difference between Drygalla and the other two is the German organizing committee said she is still in line with the Olympic ideal. She made the choice to leave because of the distraction it could bring to the German Olympians.

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