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People will understand you if you do so, but the result will not always be considered good German. In spoken German it is quite common, while many people are still preferring the genitive in written German and consider it "better" or "more correct". But (no rule without exception) there are also cases where the genitive would make the phrase so difficult to ...


Definitely; "wegen" always requires Genitiv. Thus, correct would be: Nicht nur wegen Athleten wie Reus oder der Kugelstoß-Asse Christian Schwanitz und David Storl blickt der Deutsche Leichtathletik-Verband ... However, as other answers note, use of Genetiv has been declining overall and seems to be vanishing in particular with "wegen". You often hear ...


You don't always use genitive after "wegen" (although probably in most cases). In this case, because of the plural ("die Kugelstoß-Asse") there is no or you cannot recognize the genetive and it sounds like dative. In a singular case it clearly would be genetive: "...wegen des Kugelstoß-Asses..." Take a look at Duden, section "Grammatik".


Canoo.net is of help here: Generally with dative in standard German of the southern part of the German-speaking area Frankfurt, as you know, is in the southern part of Germany. But they also note: This use of the dative after wegen is not accepted by everybody. Therefore it is better to avoid it in written standard German.

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