German rower leaves London Olympics after report links boyfriend to extreme right-wing party

By Matt Brooks

A member of the German women’s eight crew team has left London after a report linked her boyfriend to an extreme right-wing political party.

German officials said Friday that Nadja Drygalla, who had already finished competing in the Games, decided to leave the Olympic village to keep negative attention away from her team.

German rower Nadja Drygalla (fourth from right), has left London after a public radio station reported her boyfriend is the leader of a right-win extremist party. (Armando Franca/AP Photo)

“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’s departure comes after German public broadcaster ARD reported that the former police officer was suspected of sympathizing¬†with the right-wing extremist group, according to the Guardian.

The 23-year-old is reportedly dating the leader of the Rostock National Socialists – an extremist party described by German intelligence as racist, anti-Semitic and inspired by the Nazis.

“We will have another conversation with Nadja Drygalla in August after the Olympic Games.” said Siegfried Kaidel, the head of the German rowing federation. “After that we will decide together with her how to proceed.”

Drygalla’s boat was eliminated in Tuesday’s repechage after they finished last in their race with a time of 6:27.69. The United States won gold in the event, posting a time of 6:10.59 in Thursday’s final.

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