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Sports

Former German triple jumper Friedek wins damages from DOSB

A former world-class athlete has successfully sued the governing body of German sport. The country's top court has ordered it to pay damages to triple jumper Charles Friedek for leaving him off the Beijing Olympic team.

In a ruling handed down on Tuesday, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe found that the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) owed damages to 44-year-old former triple jumper Charles Friedek.

The court's verdict is final, leaving the DOSB without the chance to appeal.

What the court did not rule on is how much Friedek should receive in damages - this is to be determined by a lower court in Frankfurt.

There was no immediate reaction from Friedek, who was seeking 133,500 euros ($151, 804) in damages for lost appearance fees and prize money, as well as lost income from sponsorship deals.

Friedek's lawyer, Michael Lenger, said his client would be relieved that seven years after taking the DOSB to court, the "legal marathon" was finally over.

The DOSB declined comment, saying it would only do so after it had fully examined the written verdict.

Friedek went to court over the DSOB's decision to leave him out of the 2008 German Olympic team that competed in Beijing.

He argued that he should have been included in June of that year, having twice jumped 17 meters, the minimum required by the German Athletics Federation (DLV) for a triple jumper to make the Olympic squad. The DLV, though had insisted that an athlete not only needed to achieve the required distance twice, but was required to do so at two separate meetings. Friedek made both jumps at the same meeting in Wesel.

The court sided with Friedek, who argued that at the time, the wording of the DLV's Olympic criteria was unclear. The DLV, following a previous court decision, had actually recommended that the DOSB include him on the 2008 Olympic team, has since changed the wording of the criteria to make it clearer.

pfd/jh (SID, dpa)