9 August 2016
Dutch gymnast Yuri van Gelder has been expelled from the Rio Olympics for “gravely’’ violating team rules by going out for a night of drinking, the Dutch team said.
Van Gelder committed the act after qualifying for the finals of the rings event.
The 33-year-old left the Olympic village on Saturday evening and spent the night celebrating before he returned in the early hours of Sunday morning.
This was a violation of rules concerning alcohol consumption and leaving the team base.
“It’s terrible for Yuri, but this kind of behaviour is unacceptable,” Dutch team Chef de Mission Maurits Hendriks said in a statement on Tuesday.
“In sports terms this is a disaster, but we had no other choice given the violation of our values,’’ he added.
Van Gelder, the rings world champion in 2005, has a previous instance of violating rules at a major sporting event.
In 2009, he was suspended from the Dutch Gymnastics Union for taking cocaine three days before the national championships.
The Dutch team has imposed strict living conditions on its athletes
According to media reports, they are forbidden from entering Rio for safety reasons, while athletes who have completed their events must return home to avoid distracting team mates.