Four Dutch speed skaters who took Kazakh nationality in the hope of competing in the Winter Olympics for the Kazakhstan national team will not be allowed to take part in this weekend’s World Cup event in Heerenveen.
The International Skating Union told news agency ANP the Kazakh authorities have not yet met all the requirements for the competition. ‘We have heard nothing from them. These skaters may not take part this weekend,’ ISU spokesman Jan Dijkema told ANP.
The four man pursuit team – Rob Hadders, Arjan Stroetinga, Jorrit Bergsma and Christijn Groeneveld – hit the headlines last weekend when it emerged they may lose their Dutch nationality after becoming Kazakh. Under Dutch law, nationals who voluntarily adopt a second nationality lose their claim to a Dutch passport. None of them were allowed to take part in the recent Dutch speed skating championships.
This weekend’s event is the second of seven World Cup events.