The new president for the BDR, the German cycling federation, will be voted on March 21 in Leipzig. Rudolf Sharping holds the position since 2005, but now an opposing candidate has emerged. Dieter Berkmann, a former track professional, has submitted his candidacy.
Berkmann doesn't believe he is an outsider. "I think our chances are not so bad," he said according to radportnews.com. Berkmann's supporters include Dieter Kühnle, the former vice president of the federation. Kühnle felt that not enough investigative work against doping practices were done under Scharping, prompting Kühnle to step down.
Berkmann explained that the lax fight against doping is the reason for his candidacy. "We cannot hold back information and have to be much more rigorous to sift through the things that damage the image of cycling," Berkmann said. The criticism is partially targeted towards sports director Burckhard Bremer.
Berkmann is a multiple German champion and participated at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. His team besides Kühnle includes Olympic team pursuit champion Karl Link (1964), Gerhard Strittmatter, team pursuit world champion (1983) and Udo Hempel, Olympic team pursuit champion (1972).
Sharping is a former politician who was the German minister of defence between 1998 and 2002.