Sunday 01 August 2021

Disgraced gymnast Yuri van Gelder loses Olympic reinstatement fight

Yuri van Gelder several years ago. Photo: Raymond Nieuwenburg via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Raymond Nieuwenburg via Wikimedia Commons

Gymnast Yuri van Gelder has lost his legal fight to be reinstated in the Dutch Olympic squad after being sent home from Rio on Tuesday for drinking.

Van Gelder, who missed the previous three Olympics, had qualified for the final of the rings competition but was sent home in disgrace after ‘failing to uphold the team standards’. He denies breaking the rules.

Van Gelder took the Dutch Olympic committee NOC*NSF to court in an emergency hearing on Friday morning. As well as reinstatement, he wanted the committee to pay for his flight back to Rio and give him financial compensation.

The court in Arnhem ruled that the NOC*NSF had no option but to comply with Van Gelder’s coach’s demand that he be disqualified. The court did not go into further details and a full ruling will be published next week.

It has not yet been made completely clear what happened in the Olympic village which led to Van Gelder’s expulsion. According to one report, he came home drunk in the early morning after celebrating making it to the finals.

Van Gelder says he had four beers but had not been to a nightclub. According to the NOC*NSF, he left the Olympic village without permission and failed to attend a training session on Wednesday morning.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.