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Netherlands expels Gymnast from #RioOlympics2016 over Night of Drinking after qualifying for finals




GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 22:  Yuri van Gelder of the Netherlands goes through his routine on the Rings during the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships Training Session at The SSE Hydro on October 22, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images)

Yuri van Gelder 

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.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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,” Hendriks 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.

NAN reports that 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.

Photo Credit: Ian MacNicol/Getty images

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. pinkie

    August 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Bad habits not curbed only magnify as we get older.

  2. Spirit

    August 9, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Was this really worth breaking the rules? You can celebrate forever once your event is over but the Olympics, especially for gymnasts, is usually a once in a lifetime experience.

  3. Prince

    August 9, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Good for him

  4. Gorgeous

    August 9, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    To be honest, i think this decision was rather drastic. Getting to the olympics is no small feat, and qualifying is a heck of a thing of joy. He broke the rules, let him pay a fine or something. But why crush a man’s dreams over a celebration. He didnt harm anyone.

    • Amaa

      August 9, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      This is why in Nigeria people people get a slap in the wrist when they break rules . A rule is a rule he was well aware of this before he signed up . Plus what kind of message would you be sending that it is ok to misbehave if you are a medalist or in the finals . NO one should be above the law no matter how good you are. What of the liability on the country if he got into trouble or died then you will have families suing the govt for large sums of money.
      This is no way for an adult to behave and I AM GLAD HE WAS SENT HOME. Let him spend the rest of the games bemoaning what would have been and learn form his mistakes.

    • Gorgeous

      August 9, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      How did he misbehave? Because he celebrated his victory??? Is it even a realistic law they set down? How do you bring athletes to a foreign country who are there to make your country proud and you bind them in a camp. They are adults and it is not normal or natural to confine them to such a space throughout their time there. There may be rules, but the rules have to make sense. Can you sit in a camp for weeks? Abeg be realistic in your sanctimonious write up. He’s human after all

    • Me

      August 10, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      A system that expects rules to be followed enforces penalties on defaulters and that deters others from also breaking the rules. In societies where people are used to cutting corners and breaking rules, it would seem like a small thing. But so many “small” defaults is what results in a chaotic and undisciplined society.

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