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German Olympic medalist denied national honor because he once shot at a dog with an air rifle

Nov 9, 2012, 2:41 PM EDT

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David Storl is a big deal in Germany — he won a silver medal in the shot put at the London Olympics, and won gold at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in South Korea in 2011. So, all German athletes who won medals in London, please step forward and let your president present you with a special award.

Um, not so fast, Storl.

On Wednesday German President Joachim Gauck presented all of the country’s Olympic and Paralympic medal winners with a Silver Laurel Leaf award for their services to Germany. But Storl was not invited, after an article in Bild Magazine revealed that he had taken shots at a dog with an air rifle in 2011. The circumstances of the event are somewhat mesmerizing:

Storl was reportedly seen taking pot-shots at the dog with a friend on June 2, 2011, at his training ground in Chemnitz. He was training to be a police officer at the time — and although the dog’s owner reportedly decided not to to press charges, the incident was recorded in Storl’s file.

Storl began his athletic career as a decathlete, then switched to shot put at the advice of his coach. The article does not mention that Storl actually hit the dog with any of his shots, so Modern Pentathlon was never in the cards, obviously.

So no handshake or award from the president of Germany. The Philadelphia Eagles may be interested in signing him, though.

Storl was quoted on the whole thing by Bild:

“I don’t want to comment on it anymore,” Storl told the paper. “I can only say that I have regretted it for a long time.”

Photo of German president responding to the controversy.