Olympian Claudia Pechstein has rejected criticism of her appearance at a CDU event in a police uniform. The speed skater told the "Bild" newspaper that she was not a member of the CDU, but had been a guest of the CDU - "as an athlete, civil servant and federal police officer".
According to the police service regulations, wearing the uniform outside of work is permitted and only prohibited in the event of illness or the exercise of a public honorary position, she said. "There is no express ban on wearing a uniform at party events," said Pechstein.
The winter athlete is a federal police officer. She appeared in uniform at a CDU convention in Berlin on Saturday and thus caused discussions at the weekend. Civil servants are subject to the duty of neutrality under civil servant law. As a result, the Federal Police initiated an administrative examination.
Pechstein told "Bild" that it was an honor for her to wear the uniform and that she would do so again. According to her own statements, according to "Bild", Pechstein had asked both a union representative of the federal police and a supervisor in the run-up to the appearance. According to Pechstein, she was free to appear in uniform.
Merz: "brilliant" appearance
Before that, CDU leader Friedrich Merz had already rejected the criticism. Last night he spoke of a "brilliant" performance by Pechstein. She said from her experience how important clubs and popular sports are. This statement really interests him and not the exterior.
In her speech, Pechstein had campaigned, among other things, for strengthening club and school sports. She also called for the deportation of rejected asylum seekers. This ensures more security in everyday life. Being able to use public transport "without fearful looks" is one of the problems that particularly affects older people and women. Improvements there should be more important "than thinking about whether we should put a gender asterisk or whether a concert can still be called a German recital or whether it's still allowed to order a gypsy schnitzel," said Pechstein.
Pechstein won the gold medal five times at the Olympic Winter Games. The athlete ran for the CDU in Berlin in the federal election in 2021, but did not enter parliament.