Drygalla’s former teammates in her Rostock rowing club are bitter. They say the treatment she received recalls the practice of sippenhaft, which means “kin liability.” It was used by the Nazi regime to justify the arrest and torture of the relatives of dissidents and suspects.
People who want to root out everyone accused of holding objectionable views from Olympic teams — or anyone who is related to someone who has objectionable views — would be wise to remember something: The Olympics is about sports, not politics. Every country in the world, no matter how odious, is allowed to compete. That includes North Korea, which starves its own people and maintains sadistic gulags for dissidents. It includes Cuba and Uganda, which persecute gays. It includes Saudi Arabia and Iran, where female adulterers can be stoned to death.