The Dragulescu domestic violence scandal appears to be big news in Romania. According to ProSport, both Marian and Larisa have hit the talkshow circuit to tell their versions of the story. Meanwhile, others are weighing in on the scandal. ProSport quotes an anonymous teammate of the former world champion's, who claims trouble in the Dragulescu household had been brewing ever since the beginning of 2007: "At the beginning of 2007, [Marian] changed. He had great trouble concentrating on the elements he had to do, and then there was the accident at the Europeans. After that it seemed like something broke inside of him. He told us he wasn't sure he could handle the situation anymore, that things were getting worse and worse at home, and that he couldn't deal with the arguments with Larisa anymore. He was actually afraid he might do something stupid."
The teammate made it sound like the violence at the Dragulescus' home got quite bad at times, with both parties taking blows: "He often came to the gym covered in scratches and bruises. He was sad and didn't want to talk to us. We all told him to stay single for a while, to get his act together and then to see what to do next, but he told us that his children were the most important thing to him and that he didn't want to do anything to hurt them."
Meanwhile, Newsreport claims money (or rather a lack thereof) was indeed at the heart of the scandal. According to the Romanian website, Dragulescu borrowed heavily from his friends and coaches prior to the Olympics to be able to afford his deaf daughter's €40,000 ($51,000) operation in Vienna, just before the Games. He was confident he would be able to pay his creditors back soon, as the reward for an Olympic gold medal was about €100,000 ($128,000) . Sadly, he then failed to medal in Beijing, thus plunging himself into debt. Seeing his former wife use money raised by well-wishers for his daughter's operation for her own ends, he lost his temper and lashed out.
Dragulescu will soon get the opportunity to forget about the scandal and focus on gymnastics instead. He is about to depart for Germany, where he will take part in a few Bundesliga competitions for KTV Straubenhardt, Fabian Hambüchen's club. Here's hoping his results in Germany will go some way toward restoring his reputation.