Court allows ice-skating coach tied to secret police to work at Olympics

A German court on Monday upheld Ingo Steuer's right to work at the Winter Olympics after the ice-skating coach was reportedly linked with the former East Germany's secret police.

The court ruled that Germany's Olympic Committee didn't use proper legal procedures in dropping Steuer from its team for the Turin Games.

Documents weren't produced showing Steuer's guilt, the court added, in refusing to overturn the restraining order the coach won last week.

"There is no recognizable legal procedure used by the Olympic Committee," chief judge Wolfgang Krause said.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said he expected Germany's Olympic Committee to comply with the decision.

"The judge is just saying the coach should be allowed to participate," Rogge said. "The sports movement has to respect the laws of justice."

Steuer, a 1998 Olympic bronze medalist, coaches three German pairs, including European silver medalists Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy.

The Olympic Committee can still appeal before the pairs competition starts Saturday at the games.

An independent panel reported that Steuer was an informer for the Stasi between 1985-89 after mounting an investigation into all 162 members of the Turin team.

"What is significant there is the Olympic Committee followed the panel's findings without looking at it critically," Krause said, reports AP.


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