Monday, February 22, 2021
Public prosecutor against Stefan Lurz
Ex-national coach has to face an investigation
The Würzburg public prosecutor’s office is investigating the resigned open water national trainer Stefan Lurz on charges of sexual abuse of wards. The proceedings were initiated ex officio after a “Spiegel” report, said Chief Public Prosecutor Thorsten Seebach. “For us these are new allegations.” He could not say anything about the possible number of those affected. It is about possible incidents in the context of Lurz’s work as a trainer.
In a “Spiegel” report last week, the 43-year-old was accused of sexual assault against young swimmers. He denied the allegations in the “Main-Post” and “Spiegel”. Nevertheless, he resigned from his post after publication. He told the “Main Post” that he wanted to “avert further damage to the image of the German Swimming Association”.
The association (DSV) had confirmed the resignation on Friday without bringing the Würzburger in connection with the allegations. “According to our guidelines, the suspect was given an immediate leave of absence in suspected cases without carrying out a preliminary conviction,” it said.
The association had initiated internal investigations.
The DSV reacts immediately and comprehensively to suspected cases.”
The public prosecutor’s office had already investigated the now 43-year-old in 2010 on suspicion of rape and sexual abuse of wards. Lurz then denied the allegations. However, the proceedings were discontinued against payment, said Seebach, who himself only spoke of Stefan L. Before that, there was a private offender-victim compensation. Another case against the trainer on leave due to insult and sexual coercion was discontinued in 2019 due to the statute of limitations.
Lurz had celebrated numerous successes with his open water swimmers in title fights. His athletes were able to win 18 medals at world championships, 23 at European championships, plus two Olympic medals.