Katarina Witt pardons former Stasi spy Steuer
2 February 2006, HAMBURG - Two-time Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt holds no grudge against coach Ingo Steuer for spying on her (and others) in the former East Germany and has urged the German Olympic Committee to let him go to the Turin Games.
2 February 2006
HAMBURG - Two-time Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt holds no grudge against coach Ingo Steuer for spying on her (and others) in the former East Germany and has urged the German Olympic Committee to let him go to the Turin Games.
"He has no hidden secrets. He was naive and young," the popular Witt told Thursday's edition of the Bild daily.
Steuer, 39, is the coach of pairs skaters Alyona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, who came second at the European championships two weeks ago.
He was dropped from the German delegation for the February 10-26 Games because documents said he worked for the East German secret police, the Stasi, 1985-1989 and was paid for it.
Steuer is currently back on the German delegation via an injunction, but the German Olympic committee has appealed this court ruling, with the case to be decided on Monday.
Witt, the 1984 and 1988 Olympic champion and arguably the most glamorous sportsperson communist East Germany ever had, said she didn't understand why the case surfaced now as she had already known about Steuer's activities when she looked into the Stasi files on her in the early 1990s.
"The whole thing could have been looked into much earlier. This helps no one. And the Olympics don't get any better this way for Germany," Witt told Bild.
"I read my entire Stasi files 15 years ago and know since then who has sniffed around in my life. Ingo was one of quite a few people. For me the whole issue is over. I have put the documents away and hope they gather dust," she said.
Subject: German news