Olympic medal hopeful shames stalker on Facebook

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

Ariane Friedrich, a German high jumper expected to contend for a medal at the upcoming Summer Olympics, posted the name and email address of a Facebook stalker who had allegedly been sending her explicit photographs over the social networking service.

German authorities are now investigating the matter, according to Friedrich's manager. The matter has touched off an intense national debate on privacy with Friedrich, who is trained as a police officer, at the forefront.

"I've been offended in the past, sexually harassed and I've had a stalker before," she wrote in a recent Facebook post that included the name and email address of a man who she says sent her explicit messages and pictures of his genitals. "It's time to act, it's time to defend myself. And that's what I'm doing."

The 28-year-old is the German record holder in the high jump. She won a gold medal at the 2010 European indoor championships and a bronze medal at the world championships in 2009. An injury forced her to miss the entire 2011 season.

[Related: Olympic venue plagued by furry infestation]

In a later message, she responded to criticisms that publicly outing the man circumvented the legal system.

"The removal of anonymity is a means to clarify," she wrote in a statement translated from German. "Just think of all the children, young people and adults who are secretly harassed by perverts and don't know what to do or how to defend themselves. Should we not go forward as a good example and demonstrate strength?"

German newspapers have asked whether Friedrich had a legal right to publicly disclose the man's name. In that country, names of offenders aren't disclosed in the media.

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