At least a quarter of the Dutch squad for this summer’s Olympics in London may end up with a fine for taking too long to finish their college or university degrees, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.
Of the 180-strong team, around 50 are still studying and are likely to end up with a €3,000 fine for taking more than a year too long to graduate.
‘Almost every top sportsman or women is a slow student,’ Jet Bussemaker, rector of Amsterdam’s hbo college, told the paper. ‘I think this ruling is a direct threat to Dutch sport.’
Bussemaker, Doekle Terpstra of the InHolland college group and Marcel Winters for the Fontys hbo colleges are urging the government to make an exception for top athletes.
‘We are concerned that our medal winners in London will be congratulated by the queen and the prime minister on one day and the next get a letter from the education ministry fining them for being too slow,’ they said in a statement.
The Fontys college group has set up a special fund to help athletes meet the extra cost for one year. ‘International training programmes can make it difficult to study at this level anyway,’ Wintels told the paper.
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