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Germany

Organizers' Stasi Revelations Haunt Leipzig Olympic Bid

The Stasi connections of three organizers has cast a shadow over Leipzig's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. Dirk Thärichen, who heads Olympia 2012 GmbH, said on Wednesday he would stop quit his position after the German media reported that he had served in an East German military regiment that worked directly for the East German secret police up until 1989. Thärichen reportedly told his bosses about his service in 2001, saying he was forced into the job. Three-time Olympic swimming champion Michael Gross is expected to take over the reins from Thärichen on Oct. 18.

Jochen Lohse, a founding member of the Olympic sponsorship organization Verein Wirtschaft Leipzig 2012, has also said he will suspend his activities due to media allegations he served as a Stasi officer. A further manager, the head of the Rostock Olympics sponsorship organization, Harald Lochotzke, also resigned on Tuesday after media reports revealed he had been an informant for the East German secret police. Leipzig is the German candidate competing for the games against Rio de Janeiro, Paris, New York, Havana, Istanbul, Madrid, Moscow and London. Rostock would host the sailing competition if Germany wins the Olympics bid. A decision is first expected in 2005.