Come Olympic time, every athlete is trying their absolute hardest to do everything in their power to stay in competition for as long as possible. But in the case of Yuri van Gelder, getting sent home after a night of drinking suggests he was doing something else.
According to Netherlands Olympic website, via Yahoo Sports, van Gelder left the Olympic village on the first Saturday of the Olympics after qualifying for the finals in the rings and did not return until the following day. After being asked, van Gelder reportedly admitted that he had been drinking, and was sent home for breaking team rules.
van Gelder appealed the decision, denying that he broke any rules, according to Dutch News. He was seeking to be reinstated to the team and also to be reimbursed for his flight home. However, the appeal was denied and van Gelder’s dismissal was upheld.
It is still unclear why van Gelder was dismissed. During his appeal, van Gelder reportedly admitted to drinking “four beers” but denies going to a club. The Dutch News report also says the Dutch Olympic committee argued during the appeal that he left the village without persmission and missed a training session.
The decision may also have been influenced by the gymnast’s history. He previously tested positive for cocaine in 2009, and the suspension that followed took him out of contention for the 2012 Olympics.
Here is the statement from the Dutch team (translated by Google):
“It’s been a very difficult decision for us to take. I hate to Yuri, but this behaviour is unacceptable. That does not belong to participation in the Olympics or any sporting event whatsoever. Sporting this is a loss, but at such a breach of the applicable values within TeamNL we have no other choice. We stand for excellence with respect for all agreements and rules. Our athletes definitely not have an exemplary turd and this behaviour fits with that. We have Yuri on it addressed and he admitted that he was only that morning returned to the village. Yuri has left us no choice. “
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