The selection committee of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) has proposed a trio to succeed the outgoing President Alfons Hörmann.
Table tennis functionary Thomas Weikert, President Claudia Bokel of the German Fencing Association and CSU politician Stephan Mayer, most recently State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, are on the shortlist published on Monday. The candidates will present themselves to the member organizations again on November 14th, and elections will take place on December 4th at the general assembly in Weimar.
“I am happy that I can introduce myself to the associations on Sunday. Therefore, the first goal has been achieved for the time being,” Weikert told the Sport-Informations-Dienst (SID) in an initial reaction: “When you compete, it is so that one hopes to be elected. I approach such an office with respect and humility. “
Weikert is considered the favorite in the election, 14 leading associations have already spoken out in favor of him. Previously, the also traded sports manager Michael Mronz had withdrawn his candidacy for the presidency. Also missing from the list is Stefan Klett, head of the State Sports Association of North Rhine-Westphalia. As the ARD sports show reported at the end of October, the latter had also considered taking part.
With the help of a search committee under the leadership of former Federal President Christian Wulff, the DOSB is looking for a new leadership after Hörmann had announced that he would resign. This was preceded by a recommendation by the ethics committee, which, after allegations, dealt with the work of the presidium in an anonymous letter (“culture of fear”) and suggested new elections.
The trio at a glance:
THOMAS WEIKERT: The 59-year-old lawyer from Limburg is considered the top favorite for the top positions in German sport. Most recently, 14 leading associations have already spoken out in favor of Weikert as the successor to Alfons Hörmann, the long-time table tennis functionary is her preferred candidate. The state sports federations are unlikely to have much to counter this.
Weikert has been working in various functions for the table tennis world association ITTF since 2009. He has been leading the association since 2014, four years ago he was elected for a first term as president. For his commitment to the anti-doping law, he received the Federal Cross of Merit. Weikert would have time again for the top position: At the end of the year, he will no longer run for the election of the ITTF President.
CLAUDIA BOKEL: The candidacy of the President of the German Fencing Federation (DFeB) comes as a bit of a surprise. After all, Bokel and her association belong to the large group of Weikert supporters from the ranks of top-class sport – but now the 48-year-old is the only woman on the shortlist.
Bokel, once a successful epee fencer with Olympic silver in Athens in 2004 or the World Cup title in 2001, has, like Weikert, already appeared in sport politics in recent years. For eight years she was a member of the International Olympic Committee, from 2012 chairwoman of the Athletes’ Commission, while also opposing the IOC’s stance on the doping system in Russia. Bokel has been at the helm of the DFeB since 2016.
STEPHAN MAYER: The CSU politician is also a bit unexpected. Mayer, most recently State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior and primarily responsible for sport, had recently denied any interest in the DOSB presidency and is now surprising with his candidacy for the possible successor to his party colleague.
The 47-year-old lawyer has been a member of the German Bundestag for the Altötting constituency since 2002. According to media reports, he should also have ambitions to chair the sports committee. How Mayer wants to agree on his mandate and a possible DOSB presidency is still open.